May 2009 Letters to the Editor

Letters from readers regarding the last issues of <em>Minnesota Monthly</em>


Neighborhood Watch

My husband and I have lived in Minneapolis’s Powderhorn neighborhood since 2005 (and, for 14 years prior, three blocks south in Bancroft). We moved to Powderhorn because of the wonderful housing stock (our duplex will soon turn 100), the proximity of one of the best parks in the city (Powderhorn), the 15-minute commute to my downtown office, and the tolerant and involved neighborhood. Our block has residents who have lived here since the middle of the last century, as well as young families. Most of the houses around us are well-kept, too.

Therefore, we were very disappointed to read Minnesota Monthly’s April article “Best Places to Live,” with its statistics painting a bleak picture of Powderhorn and its list of “best places” highlighting the suburbs. Median house price in Powderhorn $119,700 and average days on the market 141? A neighboring bungalow just sold for $200,000 in less than a week. The houses in foreclosure have no doubt affected the average sale price, but we’re seeing many of those homes snapped up and rehabbed. We do need more resources—particularly to revitalize the 38th Street corridor and its businesses, hurt by “big-box development”—but what we don’t need is an “in-depth report” in Minnesota Monthly that is neither deep nor responsible reporting.

Sherrie Beal


Recipe for Relief

Regarding Dr. Bowron’s piece on the benefits of the Alexander Technique for lower back pain. My lessons with Brian McCollough, one of the two teachers featured, provided me a way to relieve upper back pain without fail. When I have a backache, I do the Alexander Technique “lie-down” for 10 to 20 minutes and that fixes it. Truly amazing.

Miriam Meyers

Lost Appetite

I am Italian. I am a New Yorker. I am an Italian New Yorker who goes both to New York and to Italy to eat, and I was most surprised by your review of Pazzaluna. How can you possibly call Pazzaluna good? The best Italian restaurants know hospitality. At Pazzaluna, hospitality is completely lacking. My husband and I, on the times we’ve tried the restaurant, have been kept waiting for confirmed reservations while others were seated because “they were late,” according to the manager. On several occasions, we have been shoddily served and generally treated like we came from “the sticks.” In New York and Italy, we have been treated far better.

J.K Carlson
Via the Internet

Editor for a Day

I received the April issue of Minnesota Monthly, and as usual, read it from cover to cover. I have one major complaint and one minor one, however.

For many years, I have felt that the magazine is misnamed. It would make more sense to label it “Minneapolis Monthly,” or “Twin Cities Times” or “Metro Magazine.” The use of the word Minnesota implies coverage of the entire state, and while that is somewhat true, the key word is “somewhat.” Surely it would not be that difficult to include one fairly major article, per issue, that pertains to a topic that is not centered in the metro area.

My second complaint, has to do with the Tamarack Award. While I greatly applaud the award, and the efforts behind it, and have greatly enjoyed reading the Tamarack pieces over the years, I think this, too, could be expanded. Why not add both a poetry and a creative-nonfiction category? Minnesota has a literary reputation that exceeds the limited range of short fiction. MPR and Minnesota Monthly could play a role in expanding that reputation.

Stashenko Hempeck

Editor’s note: Each month we get a letter or two taking us to task for not adequately covering non-metro Minnesota. While we take readers’ feedback seriously, such complaints would probably surprise the subjects of several recent stories (Shattuck–St. Mary’s School in Faribault; a novelist in Mankato). Even so, we’re always trying to do better, so we invite you to tell us what’s worth covering in your neck of the woods. Write us at Meantime, check out the piece on page 57 about Minnesota writer Bill Holm, who spent most of his life in the town of Minneota.


Submit letters via e-mail to, or the old-fashioned way to the Mail, Minnesota Monthly, 600 U.S. Trust Building, 730 Second Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55402. Please include your daytime phone number and city of residence. Text may be edited for length and clarity.