Letters to the Editor

Week of Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Drivers Wanted

Oh, let's just have a drive-through museum: I can't tell you how much I disagree with Matt Smith's assessment of Saturday closure and the reasons why institutions in Golden Gate Park are opposing it [“Artistic Deception,” April 19].

I spent three and a half years as the Chair of the Campaign to Restore the Conservatory of Flowers. We invested $25 million of public and private monies into the Conservatory's restoration, and it has been a wonderful success. Saturday closure will seriously impact the ability of the Conservatory to be financially viable and to put on special exhibits like the butterfly exhibit that it is currently showing. The Conservatory is in the middle of the closed-off area — there is no reasonable access. This means that elderly, disabled, infirm, and very young people are not able to visit on weekends.

The eastern end of the park happens to be where San Francisco's major cultural institutions are located. It isn't just a park; it is the home of the Academy of Sciences, the Conservatory of Flowers, the de Young, the Japanese Tea Garden, and the San Francisco Botanical Garden. These institutions attract tourism and tourist dollars, and are an essential part of San Francisco's economy. Moreover, visitation revenues enable the institutions to pay for important exhibits. And the time when people can visit and spend time with their families there is on weekends.

As a park advocate, I believe that it is important for people to get out and enjoy all of San Francisco's parks. And using the parks for exercise, repose, and getting away from cars is great. The question is whether or not you can achieve these goals without damaging institutions that make San Francisco unique.

There are other options in under-utilized parts of Golden Gate Park that should be considered before making it difficult to visit these cultural institutions and damaging their fiscal health.

This is not a simple issue. There is a reason why people voted against Saturday closure in the past. I think your readers would be surprised at the rationality of the opposition and the reasonableness of pursuing alternative places to turn into car-free zones.

Rebecca Green
San Francisco

Paved paradise considers a parking lot: Just wanted to thank Matt Smith for getting the word out about “Healthy Saturdays.”

Rec & Park should be behind this 100 percent, and instead they come out with a “staff recommendation” to move the closure area. This is their most popular program with a minimum of staff costs and they are not working to see it expanded? Embarrassing.

The de Young lied, plain and simple. Shameful.

And the biggest concern of opponents? Parking. They must be confused: It's Golden Gate Park, not Golden Gate Parking!

Adam Aufdencamp
San Francisco

Can't Stand the Rain

Thanks for owning up. Now, about my dry-cleaning bills …: After reading Matt Palmquist's Apologist column on the weather [“Rain, Rain, Go Away,” April 12], I want to apologize to the city of San Francisco and all of its residents because I feel that I am personally responsible for the past weeks' rain. Very soon after I moved to this cold and beautiful woman of a city, I met an amazing man, and we had an epic love affair that traversed and explored every curve of her voluptuous body. We listened intently to her every city pulse and seaside breath. We stayed up late together just to watch her fall asleep. And the three of us were in love.

But I got lost. I forgot how to love them both. And I ended up resenting him and hurting him until he finally left. And the city of San Francisco has been crying ever since. Fortunately, I think all three of us are finally beginning to feel a little better.

Marisa Mariscotti
San Francisco

Cake's Big Break

If this is women's lib, cut me a slice!: Kudos to the women of Cake [“Just Desserts,” March 29] for attempting to bring female sexuality into the mainstream. Outside of the bedroom, too often sexuality in America is either totally hidden or it's a perverted shadow of itself.

More sincere expressions of sexuality can be seen at dance clubs, where a few drinks, colored lights, and thumping rhythms lower inhibitions. Cake laudably takes that scenario to the next level, encouraging women to express their sexuality more overtly and in a way that makes them feel comfortable.

It's unfortunate some believe these parties are a step back for feminism, or are perhaps not political enough. But they're missing the point. Most public expressions of sexuality in America are what the adult entertainment industry thinks men want: boring, sleazy strip clubs or thousands of unimaginative, degrading mainstream porn titles.

Within that scenario, allowing everyday women to sincerely show and explore their true, beautiful, sexual natures should be called what it is: a revolutionary act.

Alan O.


In Ryan Blitstein's News piece, “Should Journalist Josh Wolf Be Afraid?” [April 19], the telephone number of the legal help line for the National Lawyers Guild Bay Area Chapter was misidentified. The correct number for protest-related incidents is 285-5067.

And in the April 12 issue, we failed to identify the cover illustrator, Fred Harper.

Finally, in Let's Get Killed (April 19), Jennifer Maerz implied that Pavement is from Fresno. In fact, the band is from Stockton.

SF Weekly regrets the errors.

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