Inspired by Bonnie Tsui's 'My Chinatown' [July], I made dinner plans on a balmy night in lower Manhattan. The crowded restaurant was decorated with bronze dragons and red chimes, and had a ceiling painted like the sky.


I felt I had traveled much farther than the 10 blocks I walked from my apartment to get there. The food was as authentic as I had imagined it would be (my chicken arrived on the plate with its head still attached). And after a long, leisurely dinner, I left the restaurant relaxed. It's funny how sometimes the most rewarding trips happen after a long day, only a few blocks from home.
—Sarah Kantrowitz, New York, N.Y.

Iranian Reverie

In May 1972, my family left Dallas for Masjed Soleyman, Iran, where my husband had accepted a job. We departed, sadly, four years later, and so we greatly appreciated the article by Peter Jon Lindberg [July], which gave us a picture of present-day Iran to fit with our memories of life there in the seventies. I recall dancing on Kashan carpets to celebrate marriages; the smell of fresh oranges in the air; the regular flights to Tehran, armed with an ice chest, to bring back fresh produce; and wild tulips across the desert. My years in Iran with my husband were probably the best in our 50 years together.
—Mary Versfelt, Houston, Tex.

Rest of the Best

Any article called "Best of" is always open to interpretation. Nonetheless, I was surprised to see the Tribune Building omitted from your story on Chicago [July]. Its Gothic architecture is striking, and, to me, it houses as many artifacts as—if not more than—the American Museum of Natural History, the Library of Congress, or the Smithsonian (with items from the Alamo, the Parthenon, and the moon).
—Randall Rogers, Scottsdale, Ariz.

French Twist

My husband and I were about to leave for a holiday in France when I read about Le Manoir de Raynaudes [Reports, April] and decided to change our plans for a stay at this chambre d'hôte. The innkeepers, Peter and Orlando, did everything right. We enjoyed the homemade ice cream perfumed with rose-geranium leaves from the orangery. And Peter was our travel adviser, directing us through the Tarn region, with its gorges, rolling vineyards, and fortress towns built on impossible outcroppings. Thanks for helping us find the perfect place.
—Jacqueline Darrow, Manlius, N.Y.


On a recent trip to Italy, my wife and I were thoroughly delighted to have discovered luxury and value at Ca' Dei Dogi [Corte Santa Scolastica, Castello 4242; 39-041/241-3751;; doubles from $133]. The small, six-room albergo, tucked away down a maze of tight alleyways, provided a wonderful sanctuary for putting our feet up and sipping a vino rosso. Our room included an intimate alcove, and offered views of the Palazzo Ducale. At night, we had the rooftop patio all to ourselves—it was so quiet, we could hear the gondoliers singing beneath the nearby Bridge of Sighs.
—Kevin Day, Denver, Colo.

Correction In the World's Best Awards (August), San Francisco, this year's second-ranked city in the United States and Canada, should have been identified as a five-time category winner; it came in first from 1996 through 2000.

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