Your Letters from the December 2014 Issue
Send letters to Editor Rick Broussard, New Hampshire Magazine, 150 Dow St., Manchester, NH 03101 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hot? Maybe Cold
I don't understand how the author can call a restaurant "hot" when it hasn't even opened ["Hot New Restaurants," November 2014]. The Holy Grail of the Lakes, Applecrest Farm Bistro Orchard, CR's The Restaurant and Canoe are not open for business, so how in the world did the author decide that these restaurants will be "hot"? They could turn out to be "cold as ice cubes" for all we know. Is giving a positive plug to not-yet-open restaurants fair to your paying restaurant advertisers? I think not. There is a new eatery in Goffstown called the Peace Restaurant, which specializes in African food. It is owned and run by a Nigerian couple. I wish you had included this restaurant in your article. As for the Ipswich Clambake restaurant in Manchester, my husband and I tried it the week it opened for business. I must say that we were very disappointed. The portions were too small and the prices were too high. We had a long talk with the manager and discussed many things that needed to change if the restaurant wanted to be a success. I hope things have changed since we were there. I never saw a plate with so much food on it as seen in the article's picture come out of the kitchen when we dined there.
Editor's Note: Thanks for the suggestions and point taken on the "hot" reference for an unopened spot, but the term can also indicate high expectations based on experiences, of which the author has plenty.
It's the People, Stupid
Regarding the opinion piece masquerading as a “Politics” department article in your November issue of New Hampshire Magazine, the writer apparently assumes that the machine-party politics that dominate election campaigns is hurting the re-election chances of Kelly Ayotte in 2016. Political party machines, however, do not elect candidates — voters do. And we voters recognize an important difference between machine-party campaigning and machine-party government. The former is perhaps a necessary evil. The latter is an evil that we voters have come to realize must be purged if we are to get our government working again. That realization is what is leading us voters to ever more frequently favor challengers over incumbents. Incumbents like Kelly Ayotte, however, who campaign against machine-party government and who, when elected, put good government ahead of good politics, are the ones we voters will re-elect.
We love Rebecca Rule ["Last Laugh," November 2014]. I have a first cousin who lives in Maryland — she and her husband are retired. They are Dotty and Bill, and they have a cottage in Epsom on Chestnut Pond. We have spent many lovely days with them. Anyway, a few years ago, they went to a presentation at the public library, featuring Rebecca Rule. They came home with copies of her book, "Live Free and Eat Pie." Dotty sent me a copy for Christmas, and what a treat it was. Of course (another confession here), before actually reading it, I thought it was a cookbook. Wrong. As of today, I’ve read it maybe three times, and find something new to chuckle about each time. We watched Fritz Wetherbee’s Town Meeting programs featuring Rebecca and she’s such a natural. I get the feeling she’s the same, consistently, whether before a camera, at a public presentation or at the supermarket. Very perceptive and clever with her observations. Thanks for continuing to provide such an interesting magazine. Dotty, Bill, Bud and I look forward to the monthly newt hunts. There’s even a bit of competition building.
Bud and Sally Dowd
Lincoln and Haddad
As poet, journalist and preservationist, I'd like to offer the attached poem in the hopes NH Magazine will accept it for publication. I think the poem may spark interest in a historical gem that is the small Phenix Theater on the floor at 40 Main St. in Concord.
It is virtually unchanged since Abraham Lincoln spoke there in 1860. It also housed the studio of artist Farid Haddad, whose work is sold through galleries in NYC. Lincoln's presence on that stage ought to push the community to preserve it if the community were aware of its significance.
When I read the poem at The Fells yesterday, I had audience members talk much about it afterward. None knew of Lincoln's connection to that building.
Lincoln, Farid, and the Merrimac by Rodger Martin
(In the relic of Phenix Hall, Concord, NH, where Lincoln once spoke, as artist Farid Haddad gives up his studio of 30 years.)
This structure creaks like an ancient tree; wisdom
cracks memory. Its seats still hold wire for top hats
long since turned to moth and dust. Some … thing
wishes more than dark for this place. It wishes …
beneath the balcony, dancers swirling on the waxed
tongue-in-groove oak to the reign of a waltz.
It wishes the Mesopotamian and Lincoln spring, together standing —
asking does a man inhabit this space? or this space inhabit him?
The painter, even where Lincoln stood, cannot cross that plane
though Lincoln’s words like the butterfly lapping wings
on a hilltop in China still echo between the walls and stage.
Each syllable an exquisite, infinitesimal mark upon the brick.
For decades the artist conversed with the river, the walls,
the President, painted each morning an unattainable hill
leveling across the water, then wiped from his brushes
the unused paint upon a block of wood, a palette of years
textured, layered into sculpture, filaments of color, residue
of runnels — children who never reached the linen.
We love your magazine! We had taken a subscription break for a couple of years and recently realized how much we missed it and re-subscribed (after talking to another subscriber). We enjoy stories about local people and places and love articles like the recent one about animals who hibernate. We’d enjoy more articles that share little-known facts about NH’s wildlife.
Editor's Note: Welcome back, Claire. You'll be pleased to know that wildlife is on the editorial agenda for 2015.