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Don't Pick on NYC; Review Was on the Mark 

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Don't Pick on NYC

As a former Richmond resident who now calls New York his home, I found Elizabeth Thalhimer's "No Place Like Home" (News & Features, Dec. 4) to be an insensitive exercise in poor taste. She has picked a peculiar time to express her love of her hometown with snide remarks and worn stereotypes about New York.

As I sit in my office looking out at the empty sky where the Twin Towers used to rise, I am disappointed that someone would in this moment choose to characterize this city with trivial anecdotes about a homeless person. I empathize with her love of Richmond and her desire to extol its virtues; but I cannot fathom the impulse to do so at the expense of a city that is still reeling from the physical, economic and psychological aftermath of Sept. 11.

Perhaps Ms. Thalhimer is not familiar with the spirit of the city that has so clearly manifested itself after the attacks. I have never been prouder to be part a group of people, including our drag queens, our homeless, our firemen and policemen, our bond traders and every other unsung hero as we pull ourselves together determined to rebuild and move on. - Shane Leahey

Review Was on the Mark

On behalf of St. Paul's Catholic Church in North Side, our thanks for the fine article regarding our newly dedicated addition (Architecture, Dec. 25). Edwin Slipek's review was deeply appreciated by our parish. His insights into the context of our project, both that of the church and of the neighborhood, were informative and affirming.

St. Paul's has a rich tradition here in North Side, not only in the faith of its parishioners, but also in the involvement of many parishioners in the art community. Historically, Adele Clark and Nora Houston were parishioners, and their students still number among our active membership. That heritage, along with our church's traditions, helped guide our project, which was aptly designed and orchestrated by Winks & Snowa of Richmond.

Mr. Slipek's review was, as is typical of his writing, engaging and informative. We sincerely thank him and Style Weekly for the coverage. - The Rev. George E. Zahn

Pastor, St. Paul's Catholic Church
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