"Guest Wishes," Luke Turf, November 9
How refreshing to read a Colorado article on illegal immigration without a single reference to a certain blowhard, bullying, say-anything-but-do-nothing local congressman.
He is finally getting the attention he deserves.
As Helen Krieble notes in "Guest Wishes," nobody wants to live here in illegal squalor and slavery. But they're not going to get legal if coming out means going to jail or back home. What's the problem with amnesty, anyhow? It's as American as apple pie. Nixon and Clinton got it, effectively. Thousands of libraries, parking-ticket authorities and tax collectors offer amnesty each year. Why? Because amnesty saves enforcement dollars and captures otherwise uncollectible money, not because of bleeding-heart liberal leniency. Who has ever met a tax collector with a heart?
A few public schools have "amnesty boxes" in which students can dispose of contraband without fear and without forcing campus cops to make big paperwork out of nothing. At one campus concert, the University of South Florida's amnesty boxes collected "24 disposable cameras, 4 small sealed bottles of liquor, 3 folding lock-blade knives, 3 cigars containing marijuana, 2 packages of rolling papers, 2 small plastic bags of marijuana, 1 marijuana pipe, 1 fake Florida driver's license, numerous open containers of alcoholic beverages, and several objects containing marijuana residue." Even prisons have amnesty boxes.
Those who oppose amnesty are like old frat brothers who oppose the end of hazing rituals. They had to go through a lot of bullshit to join the club, so everyone else must do the same. That's not fairness; it's envy of those who live in a more rational age.
Finally, some sanity. It's about time that someone came up with a good idea on how to handle immigration. By taking the process out of the hands of our government and putting it where it belongs, as an economic issue, we may just finally get some relief. By providing a process that is registered and legal, we can begin to stem the flow that is so detrimental to our society.
By the way, why are we not teaching our children Spanish in school? Would it not be to everyone's benefit?
"Last Call," Patricia Calhoun, November 16
Anytime a venerable street is adorned with a soigne suffix -- Larimer the North? -- it's over. The street is putting on airs, swanning. Day laborers have been replaced by realtors, and burritos by truffle oil. Yes, I realize Larimer went south, so to speak, three decades ago, but shards in the mid- to upper twenties held out.
I'm sitting here reading Westword and your "Last Call" article. Now, places like the Bamboo Hut and Duffy's do give the city some desperate flavor, but let's not forget that these places were once new, and not that lovely dive we have all come to love. Sometimes change is a good thing, and with time, some of these new places will mature with the community that surrounds them and turn back into these dives we all seem so fond of.
As the current owner of the 12th Man, I encourage you to come into what was the Micky Manor, with the same clientele sitting here today (eating their greasy little Rockybilt hamburgers) that was sitting here in February when I purchased the place. As for the Micky and Minnie neon that made the place so recognizable, they have been gently placed in the basement, waiting for the property owner to do what she may with them, as per the lease agreement -- but at least they are not still in the window shocking everybody who touches them and ruining little girls' dreams of Disneyland forever.
Patricia, I encourage you to come and introduce yourself.When you do, there will be a warm stool and a cold brew with your name on it.
Patricia Calhoun responds: Don't bogart that joint! If you know of a great dive, share it with Westword's readers at www.westword.com/blogs/?p=330.
"Brave New World," Adam Cayton-Holland, November 9
In his What's So Funny? on The Real World: Denver cast, Adam Cayton-Holland focused mainly on the sexual aptitudes and less on anything involving personality characteristics. Why did these people deserve to be chosen for a show broadcast all over the nation? Is it because of their shining personalities -- or their "bombs" and hot-tub bodies? If that's how, there's not a chance in hell I'm going to watch the show.
I have been a loyal fan of The Real World since the very first season. Granted, I missed Miami to Back to NY because our cable provider wouldn't allow MTV as a channel, but since receiving the channel again, I watch on a regular basis. The casting is ridiculously crazy. Yes, since day one there's been typecasting, but now they are repeating season after season with these self-centered, egotistical people who are more worried about their fifteen minutes on camera than they are learning about themselves and their roommates.
Don't get me wrong: The cast and editing keep me watching. But The Real World doesn't seem so "real" anymore.
via the Internet
Adam Cayton-Holland, I think you're funny as hell, man. MTV ought to make you a reporter...or give you TJ's job and see what a personality with personality could do for the challenges! But what do I know? I'm a 43-year-old Real World freak! I love the shit. I read and watch everything I can on all those people, and feel like I already know them. My biggest dream is to be young again and have a chance to live that life, too!
So, like I said, I may not be the best one to judge, but I think you'd do well on MTV -- maybe even be the next Blair.
"Fast Times," Jason Sheehan, November 9
Jason, Jason, Jason. As much as I enjoy your restaurant reviews, your humor and style, after reading your glowing review of Tokyo Joe's, I simply must say it...you don't know squat about Japanese food! Granted, none of the other food writers in this city do, either.
I have tried Tokyo Joe's twice -- and twice I left after a couple bites of horrid, Americanized crap! Have you ever actually seen an Asian eat there? Your review of the steak bowl in "oyako" broth really had me laughing my arse off. "Oyako" translates as "mother and child." A very popular dish in Japan is called oyako-donburi; it's basically chicken and egg (mom and kid -- get it?) on rice in a sauce with some onions. If Tokyo Joe's is serving a steak bowl in "oyako" sauce, I would expect beef and, well, beef child. Tokyo Joe's is nothing like a Japanese noodle shop; it is completely Americanized in taste and sensibilities. You'd never find a bowl of noodles in Japan filled with broccoli, zucchini, carrots, red peppers and water chestnuts...I shudder at the very thought!
And I'd really like to know when chicken skin was banned from American restaurants. In Japan there are yakitori restaurants with moist, juicy, glazed chicken on skewers with the heavenly skin still attached. Hard to believe in this country of high-fat burgers and fries that people are repulsed by the best part of a chicken. From what I remember, Tokyo Joe's version of chicken is white, skinless, tasteless and could be substituted with chipboard.
I'm half-Japanese, born there, spent time there, but I'm a semi-native Denverite. My mom was a cook at the old Kyoto restaurant back in the '70s. I remember Gaku Homma of Domo used to eat at our house, and I think he snagged some of my mom's ideas; she never had "recipes." I guess I'm on a mission of educating people about real Japanese food and culture since there is more to it than teriyaki sauce and sushi. Oh, by the way, sushi is actually the rice under, around or inside the other stuff, so sushi is sushi whether cooked or raw. Sashimi, on the other hand, is raw fish.
I was very happy to see Jason Sheehan's acknowledgement of the small Kokoro chain in the November 9 Second Helping. I have been eating at Kokoro for over ten years, and it is by far the best. In addition to the gyoza, the key is to order the beef bowl. The steak is hands-down the best in town as far as fast Japanese is concerned. The Colorado Boulevard location was the original and still looks the same as it did years ago. With all of these big chains popping up, it is always good to see the little guy get a little credit!
Second Helping, Jason Sheehan, November 2
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I agree with Sheehan about Pete's Kitchen. Quite honestly, when I saw that he was reviewing it, I was expecting it to be a fluff piece about how much of a Denver icon it is and praising it for its longevity, blah blah blah. So I was surprised when he revealed the truth about this establishment.
Every time I have eaten there over the course of the last ten years, it has been a slow, downhill glide -- from greasy, non-edible eggs that are barely cooked to terrible, non-flavored breakfast burritos. Pete's is going to have to understand that it takes more than being an icon to cook a decent breakfast. The thing I don't understand is why and how there are throngs of people there on a regular basis.