amanda s. miller’s article on a disagreement between Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal and me contained several unfortunate and misleading errors and omissions (“Pure Rubbish,” 3/2). The incident eight months ago did not happen as she described, and Mr. Shallal was nowhere near his establishment when it did. It is true that I went in there one night after one of the restaurant’s patrons parked a bicycle atop one of the flower beds that several Langston residents—I was among them—spent many hours creating out of rubble after we spent $3,500 of the building’s money to prettify the space in front of Busboys. I merely asked the staff and manager if they would make an announcement over the public address system and point out that someone was crushing our plants. I never used the language attributed to me—and it wasn’t even on a Friday night. It is unfortunate that Ms. Miller did not check for facts by confirming information with reliable sources instead of using hearsay from someone with an agenda.
Further, it is not true that the city has never had a problem with Mr. Shallal’s trash. He received a citation a year ago and blamed me for it; he received another one a few weeks ago.
My issue with Busboys is not a personal vendetta as Mr. Shallal alleges. It may be personal for him, but for me it is merely a matter of advocating for the other owners in my building.
Ms. Miller also reports that Mr. Shallal claimed to have obtained a ‘restraining order’ against me. That is a complete fiction but is a good example of how Mr. Shallal, who apparently wants his patrons to see him as an upstanding member of the community, plays fast and loose with the truth when it suits him.
Finally, contrary to what Ms. Miller says in the opening of her article, I do not wish to spend time in Busboys, as I live right atop it and like to go farther afield for my entertainment.
love to hear about places where people are doing something about the situation for fathers that doesn’t involve a roundup or a wanted poster (“From Here to Paternity,” 3/16). I was wondering how hard is it to match these guys up to jobs that will enable them to support themselves and their children. Yes, there is nobility in all work, whether you work serving food or on Wall Street, but are they finding situations where fathers are working jobs that barely keep their heads above water?
nice blog post by arts editor mark athitakis (“Wither the Art Critic?” 3/15). Nice “money quote.” Too bad it’s wrong. Erroneously describing a Transformer-sponsored panel discussion held March 7 at Provisions Library, ARTifice blogger David Waddell writes (and Athitakis repeats), “Dixon polls the panel audience.” I did nothing of the sort. On the recording I made of the event, the voice of moderator Ryan Hill can clearly be heard initiating an informal audience survey with a couple of questions: “How many people actually read blogs?” and “How many people continue to read blogs?” (I should point out that I saw nothing insincere or tendentious in his doing so.) Panelist Andy Grundberg then asked, “How many of those are art criticism blogs?” When I, in turn, piped up with “How many people quit reading blogs the day they quit the Post?”—mine then being the only hand raised—I was simply trying to make a point about the unsuitability of art blogs to any purpose other than the amassing of unprocessed, and often incorrect, information. It should go without saying that I intended no polling of the audience with such a remark.
It should also be noted that Waddell gets very little about this part of the conversation right —not the speakers, not the order or wording of the questions, not even the protestation of the audience member who can be heard saying “Get with it,” rather than “Get with the times!” (in response not to myself but to Grundberg). And yet Athitakis, functioning purely as a gossip, treats this as “money.”
So why should I think blogs suck? Speaking solely for myself, I am dismayed by these online crap fountains. Even bloggers treat the medium with disdain. A blog entry is subject to little of the effort and none of the rigor afforded even the most lighthearted graf of printed copy.
I realize it’s a brave new-media world out there, but Athitakis could have improved his piece by availing himself of three simple and long-standing tools of the journalistic trade. He could have run his spell checker (I’m pretty sure Glenn Harper doesn’t work for “Scultpure” magazine). He could have called me. He could have sent a reporter to the event. Oh, wait—that’s right. Regular City Paper contributor Kriston Capps was actually on the panel. Why not ask him? Apparently blogging is Athitakis’ little holiday from the facts.
I am requesting that a correction be appended to the original online post. If that trifle has already drifted off into the ether, the correction should be made alongside the rest of City Paper’s current blogs. And, yes, I’d also like to see it in the physical paper. It could be, as Waddell paraphrased Harper, that “the print version has a certain aura and documentation quality.” Or it could be that’s the only place Athitakis can be trusted to take his job seriously.
Silver Spring , Md.