December 13, 2009

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A Nonissue I’m shaking my head at your editorial choices giving sympathetic treatment to adults who act like over-entitled children. Let me assure you “The Maybe-Baby Dilemma” (November 22) doesn’t exist. It’s disingenuous for couples taking such extreme measures to procreate to turn around and agonize over the fate of a leftover embryo. Wouldn’t any decent clinic discuss these issues in advance? We’re talking about a few frozen cells. A potential life, true. But not truly a life until nine months of gestation and several years of nurturing, love, feeding -- the labors of love all parents do for their kids. By themselves, a few cells don’t mean nearly as much.

Charles Reitzel / Arlington

Turf Wars Kris Frieswick did a very nice job with the George La Perle/Beaver Place story (“Dream House Deferred,” November 22). Balanced, thorough, and uncommonly well written. My wife and I recently moved into a condo at 100 Beacon Street with a view directly into the site and could never seem to get an answer on what was happening from our new neighbors -- mainly because they didn’t know either. Despite the construction and disruption in the short term, La Perle’s plans look pretty good to us. Unlike the city and Downtown Crossing, he’s a man with a plan (and a dream). Good luck to him.

Skip Pile / Boston

The photo of the site makes one wonder whether the Beacon Hill Architectural Commission considers the Union Boat Club building addition a neighborhood character abomination. The Heinlein design looks to me like it would be a substantial improvement -- welcome to Boston, Mr. La Perle.

Russ Ryan / Belmont

Missing the Magic Neil Swidey’s “Where’s the Poetry, Mr. President?” (Perspective, November 22) gives voice to something many have perhaps been feeling -- the unsettling sense of the political mundane that’s been creeping into the Barack Obama show. What Swidey doesn’t mention, though, is the Obama administration’s insistence that the president appear incessantly, making comments, giving speeches, and doing interviews. This over-accessibility is watering down the product, preventing its refinement, and making it seem boring when it is not. The Obama strategists should take a lesson from Colonel Tom Parker, who understood that by keeping the supply of Elvis a little behind demand, the demand was always there.

Mark Rast / Westwood

Where is the substance we thought would come with President Obama’s election? That’s more worrying than the lack of sound bites. I was excited for his “Conversation on Race,” but after his great speech, that conversation never materialized. I fear this presidency was built on words spoken and written prior to his inauguration and that the rest of the term will be in the hands of the machine behind the man.

Everitt Speros / Pelham, New York

I’ve been an ardent Obama supporter and moved to tears by some of his speeches. This year, however, almost from his inauguration, I’ve felt something is missing. Swidey’s article hit the nail on the head. The poetry has gone out of his speeches and a dull prose has taken its place. I worry he’s not what I thought he was. I take issue with his economic team, with his possible escalation of war, and his anemic backing of those who were his most ardent supporters. He downright waffled on what he said was the most important aspect of health care -- the public options. Barack Obama seemed to go silent just when our liberal causes needed him to be the most vociferous. Where is he? I don’t know.

Natalie Rosen / Framingham

Somewhat to my surprise, I was disappointed in Obama’s inaugural address. I took the day off in January 1961 and was transfixed by John F. Kennedy on that cold snowy day. Perhaps I anticipated something on that level this year. It did not come. It was at least partly his speechmaking that drew me to Obama: At last, a president who could put together two consecutive complete sentences! But he has disappeared. Bring him back!

Ruth L. Kaplan / Newton

Your November 22 cover presents a poor choice of words that the media use too often. I was raised to respect the office of president of the United States. Instead of “Hey, Obama, Bring Back the Poetry,” you should have written “Hey, President Obama. . . .” Any reference using less is to demonstrate that citizens of our great country no longer respect the office or the occupant.

George Bender / Northborough

Lost Weekends I remember Marianne Jacobbi’s Saturday nights all too well (Coupling, November 22). One reader’s online commentary quickly snapped me out of my reverie. He/she asked where are those coupled folks when a single needs a weekend invitation? Where were my coupled friends years into my divorce when I craved a Saturday night cozied up on their couch, sharing their bottle of wine and their laughs? Happily, blissfully, selfishly, I nestle in on my Saturday nights again these days. Yet, why has my memory become so poor and my compassion so slim? My New Year’s resolution? To open my home and my heart to single friends.

Charlotte Canelli / Norfolk

For me, Friday nights are the most difficult since my divorce. Everyone is buzzing about weekend plans, and I sit at work until 9 p.m. or so with no plans. What I find most insulting is when I go to a restaurant alone and the tactless hostess bellows “JUST ONE,” then calls over to others “JUST ONE.” I once wrote on a check, “You might suggest ‘Are you dining alone?’ ” Keep writing those articles on the plight of us Amelias flying solo.

J. Paris / Salem

A Fine Line Professor Dick Larson is right that Apple “gets it” by making its stores enjoyable (First Person, November 22). But they weren’t the first. I had the pleasure of working part time during the final year of Learningsmith, at the Cambridge location in Brattle Square a decade ago. During busy holiday-season weekends, the small store was packed, and even with four registers going, the line sometimes reached the back of the store. One of the managers would often engage those in line with games and quizzes. A fun workplace, like Learningsmith or the Apple Store, will engender happy, repeat customers.

Stuart Goldman / Somerville

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