As a psychologist who values the power of vintage clothing to ground and support us in these unsteady times, I loved Lynn Yaeger's homage to Coco Chanel's creative and entrepreneurial spirit ['La Vie en Chanel,' May].
But I would add that Didier Ludot has another boutique—La Petite Robe Noire at the Galerie de Valois in the Palais Royal—where the sublime Dominique will find for you, in the absence of one of Chanel's little black dresses, another vintage dress or a retro-inspired number from Didier's own collection. The magic and influence of Madame and her ilk are always within reach chez Ludot.
—SHELLEY RECINIELLO, NEW YORK, N.Y.
During the summer of 2000 I was stationed in Odessa as a volunteer adviser with the Citizens Development Corps, so Adam Goodheart's vivid account of this now familiar coastal city resonated with me ["City of Dreams," May]. I, too, recall the warm, salty breeze wafting from the Black Sea. And I was reminded of my own dinners at the Greenwich Café, though I paid only half the current price, and of my visit to the Main Synagogue, when its floor still bore the markings of a basketball court. Odessa, with its intriguing contemporary culture and its profound connections to Western art, letters, architecture, and music, is unlike any other city in the former Soviet Union. I enjoyed revisiting it in the pages of your magazine.
—PETER ROTHHOLZ, EAST HAMPTON, N.Y.
Made in Mexico
Is it intentional or accidental that your February issue both encourages development in Mexico and criticizes it?In Reports, you celebrate Cancún's new resort, Aqua, which was "built on the last stretch of undeveloped property on the man-made strip." And in Update ["Chain Reaction"], you describe the recent Wal-Mart invasion, noting that devotees of "cultural tourism" will hold the line against "homogenization." I'm at once amused and amazed that travelers to exotic parts of the world want to experience luxury and excess and yet still expect the destinations to be unspoiled and authentic.
—ALISON HAAS, BOISE, IDAHO
Drinking It In
Your T+L Martini Index was a delight [Update, May]. I hope you repeat it annually—you could even expand it to include the vital data of what a martini costs in Los Angeles versus Duluth versus Berlin versus Kabul. Perhaps a piece on martini futures down the road?
—TED HAIGH, BURBANK, CALIF.
READER'S FIND BRUGES
While on vacation in Belgium last month, we discovered Bistro de Bekoring [55 Arsenaalstraat; 32-50/344-157; dinner for two $81], an intimate, traditional Flemish restaurant near the Beginhof, along an illuminated canal. We sampled several of chef Roland Annys's local specialties—moules marinière with crisp fries; eel in green herb sauce with spinach, marjoram, and basil—but fell in love with his version of the classic Flanders stew: tender chunks of beef braised for hours in dark Trappist beer. The attentive service, the 17th-century décor, and the chef's chanson selections (think: "Ne me quitte pas" by Jacques Brel) helped set the mood. As they say in Bruges, it was heel gezellig ("very cozy")!
—JILL HU, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.
Correction In a Reports item about the Vespa jacket (April), the location of Luca Bruno was misstated. The store is in Vail, Colorado.
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