Upon seeing the familiar face, I reached for the scrapbook of our trip, and sure enough—the same piper. The article on Glasgow also mentioned the Buttery, a restaurant that my grandmother lived above as a child. Her 83-year-old brother still resides on the fourth floor and tends the garden at the church around the corner. Thanks for bringing back so many happy memories.
—TRACEY MEDFORD, KINGWOOD, TEX.
Say It Ain't Jo
I was distressed to see the violence downplayed in "Joburg's New Spin" [November] by Douglas Rogers. I realize he doesn't want to scare off visitors, but he should get real. I'm a native Joburger and I spend several weeks there each year. During a recent trip, I witnessed more than one robbery attempt and did not see the "strong police presence" that the article describes. Locals know to take precautions: lock car doors; always carry a cell phone; avoid wearing jewelry that can be easily snatched. These are not things I do while in the United States, but visitors to Joburg should be advised.
—MERRILIN WILDER, TUCSON, ARIZ.
As a former resident of Johannesburg, I excitedly read Douglas Rogers's article, and recalled a city with the pace and self-consciousness of Paris and the grit and humanity of Africa. In the nineties, Johannesburg's chaotic changes mirrored those in South Africa as a whole, and I watched the city reinvent itself as a funky, eclectic African metropolis, a vanguard for the new South African society. Since so much attention is paid to Joburg's notorious crime problems, I was relieved to find an article that eloquently showcased the city's other qualities. The people and energy make it the most compelling place I've ever lived.
—MICHAEL WEBSTER, WASHINGTON, D.C.
When I read the September Editor's Note, in which Nancy Novogrod writes, "please don't ask me to name my favorite spot," I had to chuckle. I travel frequently and am invariably asked for a single response to that same question. But since I love so many places for so many reasons, I am often stumped. Recently, that simple topic sparked an hour-long conversation with a Dutch colleague about where we'd been and why we liked each place; we concluded that it's an impossible decision. I'll keep traveling, but don't ask me to play favorites!
—DEANNA GRIFFITH, COLUMBUS, OHIO
READER'S FIND Bali
After I returned from a recent buying trip to Bali for my antiques store, a friend showed me your excellent "Bali Highs" article [June 2004]. While I was there, I found two other delightful shops. At the stylish Léollé [Monkey Forest St., Ubud; 62-361/971-547], 28-year-old Budiman designs beautifully crafted housewares from natural Indonesian materials, such as hand-carved sandstone candlesticks and pandanus leaf-and-bamboo serving trays. Richard Meyer Culture [200XX Jalan Petitenget, Kerobokan; 62-361/744-5179] displays and sells vintage photographs that depict life throughout Indonesia. I was wowed by these framed original prints—I ended up packing seven of them into my suitcase.
—BENOIST F. DRUT, VIA E-MAIL
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