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The Mail

It's Ok To Be a Dumbass, You're Just a Teenager

Dear Free Williamsburg,

i think you are all completely sick and twisted yuppies with nothing better to do besides live off of your hard-working parents and piss off the neighbors around you. you're probably all the people who complained about how cliche high-school was and here you are creating another sub-culture of unintelligent sounding slang and a breeding place for some people with an extremely horrible sense of fashion. if you're going to act like you're still fifteen then please try not to impose your immaturity on the rest of the neighborhood, i've had enough of taking the L home and getting funny looks because i am in fact a teenager and have a right to be bobbong between fashion and political statements. -
--williamsburgh resident

Send Us Some Articles....

Dear Free Williamsburg,

Although I greatly enjoy your paper, I must admit that I long for a little political balance (the reviews of washed up hacks like Todd Gitlin and Gore Vidal come to mind). There are a few right-leaning, libertarians Williamsburg, you know.

Michael Moynihan

The Turkey's Nest, Again

Dear Free Williamsburg,

I am appalled at the outright classist review given the Turkey's Nest on your bar review page. It truly shows complete disregard for those that lived in this neighborhood before it was "discovered". "Those who complain about rising rents" perhaps have a right to; after all, this is their home also, and prohibitively high rents make it increasingly hard for it to remain so. To slam a group based on economic status, and to then callously criticize them as people who "piss away their money on Quick Draw and cheap pints of Bud", is lower class than the guys that you are slamming. Not everyone has money at their disposal--and as for how people spend what money they have--to each his own! Surely those who piss away their money on lottery and cheap beer (not only the working class, I might add) are no different from those who piss away their money on Brooklyn T-shirts and martinis?

What saddens me is the utter blindness to Williamsburg as a whole; it does this neighborhood a disservice to advertise it as solely young, affluent, and hip. Williamsburg is working class. Williamsburg is Polish, Italian, and Puerto Rican. It is ungracious to not treat everyone here with the utmost respect in their home.
As a native Brooklynite I happily welcome newcomers--I beg you, though, take care not to tread to carelessly on the fabric that makes this such a wonderful place to live.

ps- By the by, is the fact that the bar is becoming more of a hipster hangout a good thing?

Hope Cullinan

Bad Times at the Schizophrenic
Restaurant on North 6th

Dear Free Williamsburg,

MAISON SAIGON/TACU TACU on N.6th street is basically like Planet Thai, except it mixes Peruvian food with Vietnamese cuisine. The big difference is that they really don’t have their shit together. The space is beautiful and clearly they have spent a ton of money on it, but who cares when they can’t figure out how to bring everyone’s food at the same time. Get this – I ate there with 5 people, two of which ordered a house salad as an appetizer. One salad came about 5 minutes after we ordered, and it was a good looking and cheap salad…however, the other salad eater had to wait about 10 minutes longer for his exact same basic salad. The same thing happened with our entrée. Someone ordered a 18$ special Paella, and it came a good 20 minutes before everyone else’s food. He was done when we were getting our meals. The waitress barely apologized and just asked if he wanted dessert. I personally enjoyed my Vietnamese “Bun” noodle dish, but no one else at the table was happy with their meals. Good portions, but slightly overpriced and ridiculously unorganized. Try it yourself, but I would give them a while to get their act together on the service side. Also – does Williamsburg really NEED this restaurant? I can’t see hipsters really sitting here and enjoying this place. Who does this restaurant cater to? Yuppies from Manhattan? If they want to come here instead of making the wait longer at Planet Thai – fine with me.

The Controversy Continues

Dear Free Williamsburg,

I'd like to comment on you recent story, Two guys from Al-bireh, and Brooklyn, as well as some of the comments that people had about it.

First, my bias. I am Jewish, and have grown up mostly in New York. Most of my family lives in Israel, and I spent almost every summer as a child and several years since then in Israel.

Let's be honest with ourselves: no matter how evenhanded we are, we were upset with the story. Yes, I noticed that all comments were carefully quoted and attributed. And no, I certainly don't believe that for every negative movie review you publish there should also be a positive one as well. However, we are not dealing with a movie review, we are dealing with family, with homeland, with religion, and hopefully, with impartial reporting.

If you want to publish pieces about how the current situation affect people that live in NY that have ties to the Middle East, then why won't you publish pictures of the market where I used to shop for food when I lived in Jerusalem, or the pizza restaurant I used to go to for a snack with friends after school, or the cafe where I had my first kiss. You couldn't, because they've been blown up, along with men, women, and children who tried to go about their lives. You could write about the cafe in a sleepy beachside area with very dangerous grandmothers meeting for tea and cards, but you couldn't publish a picture, because that's been blown up as well.

Either Arafat has no control or he exercises no control, because no matter what assurances he gives to the Enhlish speaking word out of one side of his mouth, the bombings and attacks on completely rnadom civilians continue. Are the living conditions in the occupied West Bank bad. Yes. No one want to be confined to their home. No one wants their freedom restricted. No one wants to feel powerless. But Israelis are not safe from this. They can choose to leave their homes, but they might not make it back alive from the supermarket. Recently, a several month old baby girl was shot in her crib through the window in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Jerusalem. And as for the economic situation, I can vouch from personal knowledge, that Israelis are loosing income from the tourism industry, several countries have de facto trade embargos on Israeli goods, and the high tech industry is in the toilet. People's livelyhoods are going down the drain.

This week, the Israeli government bombed a house containing a Palestinian terrorist leader. I am not going to consider the issue of assassination of political leaders as a strategical choice here, that is an entirely other issue. 14 people were killed by this bomb, nine of whom are children. This was horrible. This was a tragedy. This shouldn't happen to anyone, ever. But it happened the week before, and the week before, and the week before that. It's been going on now since September of 2000.

Making Palestinians victims over Israelis accomplishes nothing. All children are beautiful and deserve to live without bombs and without being tought to hate. I don't expect that you are attempting to solve the Middle Eastern conflict in the pages of your newspaper. What I do expect is that you present stories that give people the ability to consider the situation with more information, and come away with a more complete understanding. I do not critisize your decision to publish such a piece. And maybe insisting on a counter viewpoint is a form of censorship. However, expecting one isn't. That's just hoping for even handed reporting.

-- Name withheld

Disclaimer from the Editor:
Opinions addressed in Free Williamsburg are
not necessarily our own, godammit!


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Free Williamsburg© | 93 Berry Street | Brooklyn, NY 11211
[email protected] | October 2002 | Issue 31
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