Did we miss the turnoff?

In attempting to locate the pulse of Franklin Street (“Finding the pulse of Franklin Street,” Sept. 16), Mr. Joe Schwartz has made the same error many other local reporters have made in recent years: He felt the wrong extremity. While it’s true that the East End isn’t be what it used to be, neither is the West End, and that’s a good thing, because the West End is getting better all the time.

How many articles about the perpetually expanding cloud of dreariness in downtown Chapel Hill have mentioned The Bookshop’s spectacular selection of used books? How many have praised Mediterranean Deli’s ever-expanding selection of delectable dishes? How many pay tribute to the fact that CD Alley is thriving in a time when many people are downloading their music rather than buying CDs? How many of these articles mention the fact that Chapel Hill Comics (the business I own and operate) expanded last year and features the biggest selection of graphic novels in the state?

I know things are changing. I know things aren’t what they used to be. A bowl of soup ain’t a nickel anymore, and the comics I sling are three or four bucks rather than the quarter I paid as a kid. I miss the Carolina Theatre, where I had the greatest movie experience of my life when I walked over to a midnight showing of Dead Alive after finishing a shift washing dishes at Swensen’s. I miss the Burrito Bunker. Hell, I still miss Barrel of Fun, but you know what? This is the future. It’s where some of us are lucky enough to live. Did you miss the turnoff? Let me help. Just turn yourself toward the west and walk a couple of blocks. It’s not far. There you go. You’re welcome.

Andrew Neal
Owner, Chapel Hill Comics

Extract yourself

Regarding Neil Morris’ review of Extract (“Take this longing,” Sept. 2), Mike Judge should stop making movies, Ben Affleck should never act again, and you should stop writing reviews.

I normally do not attend mainstream movies because they’re usually dumb, commercial and predictably appealing to the least sensitive of the masses.

But you gave this piece of commercial vulgarity a good review. I actually asked for my money back and got it after an hour of this nonsense. None of the characters were likeable, the plot was really stupid with a lot of idiotic vulgarity thrown in, it was flat and frankly had nothing to recommend it. I could hear a few forced titters from the audience whenever the word “balls” was said, but for the life of me, this movie, certainly not a “film,” lacked anything that would make it worthwhile watching.

Perhaps you should take a few more courses on film before you start writing about them.

Liking the characters is first and foremost. Where have you been?

Adrienne Di Franco
Wake Forest