Letters to the Editor
Driven to Tears
Your article "Tour the Obscure" (Cover Story, July 25) nearly drew me to tears. Although I live in Santa Rosa, about 105 miles north of San Jose, I've taken three short getaways in San Jose over the past several months. And I've made several walks almost identical to yours, albeit probably longer.
The first time, I parked at the Market Street parking structure (free on Sundays), walked south on Almaden Avenue, under I-280, south on Palm until it ends at Alma, right turn, following Alma/Minnesota, then through various streets in Willow Glen, then continued west on Pine/Hamilton with various detours hither and thither, attracted by the architecture, to just before Highway 17, and took VTA back to Market Street. Fascinating walk, with a wide introduction to all the architecture in San Jose since the 1880s.
The second, about a month ago, was the same parking on another Sunday, down Market to San Carlos, then west on San Carlos past I-880 to Santana Row. I agree with you, San Carlos is the quintessential street of the past in San Jose. Then I diverged and took the tour of the Winchester House (about time, given that I've lived in the Bay Area since 1958). Then various streets to the Municipal Rose Garden, then NE on various streets to Stockton Avenue, down Stockton to St. Julian, then back to the parking garage.
The third was today, restricted to the central section of Santa Clara, bemoaning the utter destruction in the early 1960s of the old downtown in the name of modernization and progress. Through the university, past City Hall, the Adobes, a few blocks on Park, but to the car, parked on Alviso (free), brief stop for cheese and sausages at Neto's,, then back in the car, and I drove back home to Santa Rosa.
I shall save your article for many keys to future sojourns in San Jose.
Stephen Album, Santa Rosa
The Truth About Body Snatchers
Re Invasion of the Body Snatchers ("I, Pod," Cult Leader, Aug. 1): Great article, and the author is right on the money. Only one small correction: he states that author Jack Finney set his original serial-turned-novel The Body Snatchers in the '70s. The truth is the story was set in the '50s, but in 1978, Finney updated his story to make it more contemporary for future publications of the novel.
Other than that one small error, he captured the essence of each film version!
Dave Hutchinson, Las Vegas
Smoking Gun Theory
Re "Feinstein's Fury" (Metro News, Aug. 8). I would like to applaud Peter Byrne for bringing to light Sen. Feinstein's egregious war profiteering; It takes a lot of determination, integrity, and plain old chutzpah to not only reveal what political powerhouses would rather not have revealed but to also weather the storm of hypocrisy and corporate submission that is today's mainstream media.
It is unfortunate, then, that I must take issue with a portion of his article in your most recent issue. Specifically, he refers to his evidence against Sen. Feinstein as a "gun [that] wasn't smoking, [but] on fire." In the metaphor of the smoking gun, the smoke is that which exits the barrel following the discharge of a bullet, proving that the gun has been quite recently fired; a gun on fire (which would be quite hard to pull off) does not reasonably fit within the context of that turn of phrase. Perhaps Mr. Byrne could have said that the gun was not only smoking but still being fired, or perhaps completely different imagery would have been best. But even with this small literary misstep, he's doing a bang-up job.
Zachary Kast, San Jose
Insider on Text Addiction
Last night I read your article on cellphone/text messaging addiction (Cover Story, Aug. 8). There were some things in it that I didn't know, but I wasn't surprised when I read about them. I currently work in a Verizon Wireless store and have heard about people who send up to six hundred text messages a month. It seems we can't control appetites. I also remember seeing a fender bender where a guy in a van tried to make a right turn in the center lane and hit a pickup truck in the right lane. He was talking on his cell phone at the time. I also notice some people still drive while holding a cell phone despite the new law against it. Is it any wonder there are bumper stickers reading: "hang up and drive." One simple way to avoid being distracted is set your phone to meeting mode—that way you won't be distracted at work.
John B., San Jose
Wow, you really must work for a cell phone company, tossing around technical terms like 'meeting mode.' Even the writer of that story, who is hopelessly and proudly addicted to all things cell-phone-related, had to look that one up.—Editor
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