Week of October 29, 2003

Don't get me wrong: While I feel for those who will be displaced, it would be much better for all of them if they were allowed to disperse in other neighborhoods. True, their rent will eventually be higher, but no matter where they move they will be paying the same amount they pay now for the next three years! I'd love to move to a penthouse at the Chase Park Plaza and still pay the reasonable amount of rent I pay. Maybe three years from now these families will realize that it is worth it to work a little harder to be able to live in a neighborhood that's less of a war zone, even if they have to pay an extra $100 a month.

It seems to me that folks like Jim Roos are part of St. Louis' problem, not its solution. The preservation of the status quo at all costs to the prosperity of the city and the safety of its residents. Hopefully the law-abiding and hard-working residents of McRee Town will find out the grass is truly greener outside their neighborhood.
Scott Plackemeier
St. Louis

The Rest of the Best
Cheers to Dad! Thank you so much for recognizing my father's establishment in your "Best of St. Louis" issue. It was mere coincidence when I decided to head down to the local Cecil Whittaker's for my usual order of mostaccioli. I picked up the "Best of" edition, indulging myself in the reactions of the city and the RFT staff.

What took me back the most was when you awarded Thai Country Café "Best Thai Restaurant." I found it quite fitting to have my father -- a widowed single parent with two children, one of whom is on the verge of entering college, the other a teenaged girl -- finally honored in your paper. I read the RFT fairly often to find out about the local music scene, and I find the political cartoons mind-blowing. To a concerned and involved teenage St. Louisan (I'm seventeen, ladies), the RFT offers a lot.

Anyway, to wrap it up short: Thanks for recognizing the Thai Country Café, and thanks for recognizing my father. It has been long owed to the man who once got robbed selling ice cream in East St. Louis.
JoJo Prapaisilapa

Stage Pages
The more the merrier: Thanks so much for what appears to be a more concerted effort to give the theater scene in town its due. The September 17 issue had two full pages and reviewed four shows, and this is indicative of the coverage in recent months. I first noticed the change a year ago when Dennis Brown (who, even though I don't always dance to his beat, God bless him, he'll see anything) reviewed Kirkwood Theatre Guild's production of Picnic, a (gasp!) community production. Since then it seems Mr. Brown and Deanna Jent -- whom I judge to be the finest critic of any ilk in town, fair, insightful and honest, yet tactful -- have endeavored to see any show at any company and are more and more often being given the space to alert readers to the wide array and generally improving state of St. Louis theater.

So thank you for that, although a clear-cut calendar of productions, akin to the movie schedule, would be most welcome. And a chance to vote for theater categories in the "Best of" -- I believe it was Kirsten Wylder [ Letters, August 20] who alerted you to the fact that we could vote for "Best Zoo Animal" but not "Best Theater Company." Strange, that. Anyhow, thank you, and please keep up the improved coverage. It's good to be seen.
Jason Cannon
St. Louis

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