Chris Wilson
via Internet

Deconstructing Valley
Barry Graham's column "Making Merry" (January 1) about the forthcoming closure of the Golden West hotel and Newman's is an excellent observation of the urban plight. I chanced going in Newman's one evening, and found myself reading about it the very next day. Newman's was dark . . . only a dozen or so patrons. The bartender struck me as being "real," congenial, courteous and clever, not "plastic" like some at the hoity-toity Arizona Center. The clientele ran the gamut of the "real world," where one struggles through each day.

If there were any justice at all, Newman's would be declared a historical landmark and its truthful beauty preserved. In my opinion, the developing interests that aim to renovate this "natural resource" would use the Grand Canyon as a landfill, cap it and build a strip mall over it.

I am a native New Englander, and I have seen beautiful neighborhood taverns leveled to make way for sterile cubicles that are only serving as mailing addresses for the nouveau riche (who have most of the money, but lost their souls along the route to progress). This letter will probably have no effect on the outcome of the downtown pillage about to befall Phoenix, but I can still have the satisfaction of saying, "I told you so," before I take my leave of Phoenix, and, as I go, I'll probably visit the Grand Canyon, before it, too, falls prey to the "lords of plastic."

Michael S. Boyd

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