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Letters to the Editor 

Week of April 16, 2003

Brody Bashers Beware!

The girl's got fans, and here they are to bite you back: I disagree most heartily with the recent tasteless criticism of your restaurant critic, Meredith Brody [Letters, March 12]. M. Brody's reviews are the best thing you've got going. They're beautiful: detailed, lushly descriptive, nuanced. She manages to re-create the intense enjoyment of a good meal -- or the disappointment of a poor one -- by her evocative, sensual language.

Ms. Brody's essay are organized around a theme (e.g., her March 5 review, every experience is unique) and all her details converge on this idea. Her message is clear: A memory of a French restaurant glimpsed in a film noir, a quote from the Goncourt brothers, an art show, all contribute to enhance the eating experience. The response to a meal is embedded in the context of one's life.

Ms. Brody's reviews are like that rarest of things -- a good meal made great by good conversation, shared memories, and layered echoes from our lives.

J.M. Lawson

She's quite remarkable!: I was dismayed to see the amount of space you devoted to readers' letters criticizing Meredith Brody, with no subsequent publishing of letters expressing the opposite assessment.

I know I am not alone when I say that she is an absolute gem, as my friends share this point of view. Her very first review convinced me of her remarkable talent. She is uniquely erudite, like no other Bay Area restaurant critic. What a treasure!

Thank you for hiring her, an event that instantly elevated the quality of the Weekly.

Jake Kuromiya
Via Internet

She's very stylish!: Just after experiencing the delight of reading your new food column, by a critic who has intelligence, style, and good taste, I was shocked by the negative reaction of some of your readers. But seeing the gutter language in which it was expressed, and the vituperation of several columns consisting of "blahs," I realized that Meredith Brody's critiques are far over their heads, and their bad-mouthing indicates a longing for discussions of the greasy-spoon and fast-food quality.

For God's sake keep her -- she raises the level of SF Weekly and provides so much more than the conventional food column.

Blake Lee Spahr

She's never dull!: It's really boring to read restaurant reviews that just go on and on about the food. I know that's the point of restaurant reviews -- the food, that is. But I think Meredith Brody gives a more interesting perspective, by bringing in stuff like photography, that you wouldn't expect to find in a food review. Tell all the huffy people to stuff it!

Says me anyway.

Olivia (no last name given)
Noe Valley

More Dumb Keening From Fifth and Mish

Let the carping begin: It seems the easiest way to get your letter published in SF Weekly is to carp about the Chronicle -- and you're likely to get a boldfaced pull quote if you complain vividly enough [Letters, April 2].

In reference to Patrick Wilkes' letter asserting that the Chronicle "seems unwilling to investigate clergy sexual abuse," a simple archive search at SFGate, the Chronicle's Web site ( wais/search/arch-pro.shtml), turned up a considerable number of in-depth stories, many of them by reporter Elizabeth Fernandez, who has covered this clergy abuse with dedication.

To note just a few that pertain specifically to Mr. Wilkes' complaint: "Men blame shattered lives on abuse in youth by priests: Victims carry burden of guilt, betrayal" (April 16, 2002); "A chance to be heard: Victims of clergy abuse granted meeting with S.F. auxiliary bishop" (May 10, 2002); "Victims groups irate over prosecutors' deal with Catholic Church" (Sept. 9, 2002).

I'd be happy to provide Mr. Wilkes with copies of the Chronicle's continuing coverage of this important subject.

Joe Brown
Director of Public Relations
San Francisco Chronicle

Editor's note: Actually, Joe, the easiest way to get a letter printed is to be a thin-skinned flack bellowing about what a great job your paper's doing covering a given story -- when those familiar with the subject know such an assertion is debatable.


Even the blind can see 'em: I enjoyed your item regarding newspaper headline sizes ["Phil Shouts the News," Dog Bites, March 26]. You might want to take a look at the S.F. Chronicle and Examiner of Saturday, May 14, 1960: "400 COPS BATTLE MOB AT CITY HALL."

I heard there was an edict outlawing that print size for anything other than declaration of war. It was considered too inflammatory. It was also the first time there were double first pages.

I have copies of those newspapers and they never cease to amaze me. Can you imagine turning a full-blasting fire hose on kids on the third floor of City Hall?

Wynn Welch


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