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Letters | February 2008

It was nice to revisit St. John in "The Ultimate Caribbean" [December]. My husband and I were married there. Scenic is the word that comes to mind when I think of our ceremony: a setting sun, white-sand beaches, and wild jungle trees as the backdrop. (We wanted to recreate the jungle in our yard in Virginia, but alas, no luck.) This past year, we returned with our daughter and hiked to Water Lemon Cay, where the turtles lay their eggs. We were thrilled to be back. The island hasn't lost its charm. —Kim Kemp, Chesapeake, VA.

Reader's Find London

I spend several months a year in London and enjoy exploring the city's restaurant scene. One of my favorite Indian restaurants is Rasoi. Chef Vineet Bhatia uses an inventive combination of ingredients, and has worked with French, Swiss, and German chefs—though his training is classic Indian. I love the imaginative cuisine: almond tikki (puréed potatoes and peas covered with sliced almonds), lobster with ginger and chili, and chocolate samosas. The waitstaff is attentive, and the wine selection is also very good. —Sally Claster Bell, Pacific Palisades, Calif.

French Favorites

I've been to Paris twice, but visited a million times through books, films, and replayed memories. I enjoyed Christopher Petkanas's story on zinc bars ["Café Society," December] because it transported me into the setting of those French institutions. I've been reluctant to try out a proper zinc bar, for the very reasons Petkanas mentioned. But his ode to these signature Parisian restaurants has convinced me not to fear the locals-only frostiness. Thank you for opening a window onto a world that has thrived since Émile Zola's day, and for presenting zinc bars for what they are, instead of opting for a glossy spin. Cafés with character stay in the memory longer than cookie-cutter versions. —lee tran lam, sydney, australia

Changes in China

Michael Z. Wise hit the mark regarding the transformation of Beijing as a modern cultural center in the march toward the 2008 Summer Olympic Games ["Boomtown Beijing," November]. We traveled there in September and were stunned at the rate of new construction juxtaposed with the city's ancient buildings. Beijing is not alone in this new cultural revolution. It seemed the entire nation was taking a great leap forward into modernity. —jeff and eileen schoenfeldt, fitchburg, wis.

A New Take on New Orleans

Peter Jon Lindberg's article ["Soul Survivor," November] gave my husband and me that push we needed to visit New Orleans again. We had a great time, from enjoying a delicious home-style breakfast at Cafe Fleur-de-Lis in the French Quarter to touring the World War II museum with a veteran soldier as our guide. New Orleans cannot be overlooked anymore. The Big Easy is back. —susan gonzalez, erie, pa.

Great Vines

Sarah Wildman's article on the Languedoc-Roussillon region in France ["A French Revolution," November] reminded me of the time I spent living in Pouzolles a few years ago. I loved the sense of community there. Neighbors got together to help pick grapes during the harvest season, and vineyards sold their bottles at Le Tarral, a wonderful local wine co-op. —brenda wilson, seattle, wash.

Beyond the Pyramids

I was happy to see Nadine Gordimer's recollection of the Mosque of Ibn Tulun in Cairo ["My Favorite Place," December]. It's not often you read about Cairo's lesser-known treasures. The city's delightful markets, synagogues, and other cultural wonders are frequently overlooked. —erin small, london, england

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