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Where were the foodies?

My husband and I relocated to Virginia last week for a job promotion. We are sad to leave, and were even more disappointed to miss Anthony Bourdain speaking as part of the Drue Heinz Lecture Series. So, in between unpacking boxes, I checked out coverage of the talk on post-gazette.com.

Imagine my chagrin when I discovered that his appearance was given only minimal coverage in your paper -- first in an article by Patricia Lowry culled from other sources ("Bad boy Bourdain makes culinary arts an adventure," March 27), then a brief, biting review by your correspondent for all things books, Bob Hoover ("Drue Heinz Lecture: Food adventurer Bourdain shows biting wit," April 1).

This show was sold out for a reason. There are a lot of people excited about food in Pittsburgh, and Bourdain has a huge following. I've met young line cooks just starting out that got into food because of his writing.

So where were the food people? Were China Millman and Elizabeth Downer on vacation? Heck, even Bob Batz who covers spirits could've done a better job. You would think that the people who cover our exciting culinary landscape would be quick and eager to show that to someone like Anthony Bourdain. He just did a show about Cleveland last year -- why not show him what lies just two hours east? He might end up wanting to do a "No Reservations" program about Pittsburgh's food (beyond pierogies and Primanti's).

People like the big Burrito Group, Bona Terra, Alchemy, and Tony Pais should get more coverage than just cooking with Chris Fenimore during a WQED fund-raising stunt on Saturdays! What a shame -- this was a missed opportunity to showcase all the great culinary events happening in our region.

Jenee Libby
Highland Park

Mad about Gary & Beth

I cannot even imagine what WLTJ was thinking of when it changed its format.

I have been a loyal listener for years. I go to bed with my radio playing. I don't even set an alarm clock. I wake up as soon as I hear Gary and Beth's voices.

I listen on my drive to work and all day in the office. Now what do we listeners have? NOTHING. No more telephone teasers, no more traffic updates by Amy, no more bus stop brain twisters and, most importantly, we don't have the chatter and bantering back and forth of Gary and Beth.

I loved hearing the listeners calling in with their opinions on questions people wanted answered. I can't believe the station thinks this new format will draw listeners to their station. I could get music on any station if that was all I was looking for. Gary and Beth made that station the one to listen to and WLTJ took that away, so I have taken that station away.

My radios will not be tuned to 92.9 until it brings back the individuals that made that station worth listening to.

Linda A. Flora

R.E.M. in retrospect

In his review of "Accelerate" ("For the Record: R.E.M.," April 3), Scott Mervis writes, "It's safe to say most longtime R.E.M. fans would be happy to forget that the last three albums ever happened."

Having been an enthusiastic follower of R.E.M. for more than two decades, I think it's safe to say I'm a longtime fan.

If 2004's "Around the Sun" is a low point of the band's catalog, its two predecessors are shining examples of a band accepting the transition from live-format band to studio band with remarkable ease. "Up" from 1998 shows a band unafraid of experimentation (as it always was), confidently creating excellent, interesting music in uncharted (for R.E.M.) studio-only territory; and 2001's "Reveal" is, as its title suggests, revelatory in that it shows a band creating some of the most evocative and stunning music of its career ("Reveal" is inexcusably overlooked, artistically outshining the band's by-the-numbers 1990 release "Green" and its midlife-crisis album, 1994's "Monster").

To forget that "Up" and "Reveal" ever happened would be to deny crucial work of a band forced into a state of transition, work that shows the band coming to grips with its current state and growing old gracefully, and creating brilliant music at the same time I might add.

Daniel Klasnick

Fine China

China Millman's latest piece on "Cooking at Home" ("Cooking at Home: Annie Weidman," April 3) is just another example of her excellent journalism. She is a very welcome change from former restaurant reviewers' snooty comments concentrating on wine and whether an additional fork was provided for dessert!

China obviously loves to cook and has a wealth of knowledge about how good food is prepared. The reason why I can see she is so good is because I classify myself as a "foodie," not a pretentious "gourmet" type.

Please keep up the great work, China, and don't leave for New York!

John Kuczynsky
Bethel Park

Women of today

In response to the incredibly misogynistic letter written by Ron Keller ("Where are the ladies?" Weekend Feedback," April 3), his comments are disturbing on many levels, and as the mother of two moral, articulate and accomplished young women, I am offended on their behalf and on behalf of their friends and women in general. It's not clear to me on what information or knowledge Mr. Keller is basing his opinion of "women today, as a whole."

And I am curious. What about the groom at the wedding of these pregnant brides that he finds so objectionable? Didn't the groom indulge in the same "slutty" behavior? What should he wear? A pink tuxedo? A scarlet P (for premarital sex) on his forehead?

Go back to the Stone Age.

Nanette Beerens
Mt. Lebanon-


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