Mailbox: 06.10.09-06.16.09

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Reed It and Weep

Re: “Totally Stumped,” June 3-9: “Oh, sweetie, you seem a little confused.Your four years at Reed don’t mean you’ve figured out Portland or free trade. Go get a real job, buy a decent thesaurus (how many times do you use “ironic” in this article?) and then come back and write a story that’s based on something more than your fleeting impressions of a city and a coffee shop you spent a few hours ‘researching’ while you were in college.”

Barista Culture Shock

I’m sure Portland is fantastic. But the defense of Stumptown goes a bit far.The warning was for NY. As good as Stumptown coffee might be, I’m soooo sick of the Sorenson hype and the proliferation of misinformation. New York has had specialty roasters longer than Sorenson’s been alive—and some have been around for longer than Oregon has been a part of the union.

Though the third-wave barista culture had not hit the City nearly as hard or as fast as it swept the West Coast, there has always been a sizable community of small (and large) coffee roasters and cafés sourcing amazing green coffees from around the world, forging direct partnerships with farms and baristas executing real craftsmanship in the cup. As for freshly roasted coffee, Stumptown is still shipping coffee from Portland for its NY accounts, which is not nearly as fresh as Gorilla or Gimme or Orens or Porto Rico or Kobricks or Dallis or Gillies (the last three having been open for over 100 years).With more out-oftown roasters coming to New York, it certainly has heightened the conversation, but let’s get the facts right and keep some perspective. I guess that old adage about “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere” is just too tempting for an out-of-towner to resist. But please start with actually making it here before crowning yourself king of NY coffee. Or even calling yourself a local.

Mr. Stumpy

Hey New Yorkers, don’t be so glum that you didn´t invent Stumptown coffee—at least you don’t have 14 percent unemployment like Portland! Oh and DTWSPDX, if it weren’t for Californians and New Yorkers (and God knows Minnesotans and Michiganders,Wisconsin too), there would be four people left in Oregon to buy overpriced Stumptown lattes!

—Tommy Marx

Away They Went

Again, [Away We Go is] not a movie I’m remotely interested in,but as an essay on the shit we’re force-fed (“It’s good for you, I swear!”), I couldn’t agree more.I loved American Beauty so much the first time that I bought the video. And I’ve never been able to watch it to the end again. It is so damn contrived.

Sermon on the Mound

I just had to write and tell you how much I loved Brian O’Connor’s piece about Joel Osteen (“A Night of Hope With a Crackerjack Jesus,” May 20-26). It was the best New York Press article I’ve read in a long time. I’m hoping to see more pieces by O’Connor.

—Richard Fried, Brooklyn

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