x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Christo does it for fun

A reader praises the artist Christo for avoiding pretension and pomposity. Other letter topics include flying to Fujairah, Formula 1 in Texas, Turkey vs. Syria, and Canadian cuisine.

A reader says that the thousands of fabric panels in the installation The Gates, by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in New York in 2006, made a fine example of the simple joy the artists create. Mario Tama / Getty Images
A reader says that the thousands of fabric panels in the installation The Gates, by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in New York in 2006, made a fine example of the simple joy the artists create. Mario Tama / Getty Images

Thank you for the coverage of Christo (The great wrapper, November 16). I attended his talk on Monday night and was impressed by this impressive artist's energy at age 76.

As a sensible person, I consider most western "contemporary art" to be pretentious and overpriced.

But what I like about Christo and his late wife Jeanne-Claude is that they were - and he is still - careful to say that their art does not "mean" anything - no political message, no pomposity about the meaning of life. It is just for joy, he says.

I was lucky enough to see The Gates in New York's Central Park in 2006 and it was exhilarating.

Dan Kazmerski, Abu Dhabi

Flight may prove to be useful

The story Abu Dhabi to Fujairah in 40 minutes - by plane (November 16) prompts me to say that a domestic airline of this type would become useful if there is not going to be a good railway connection in near future, if the formalities and hence the time can be reduced, and if the price is controlled.

Mohammad Fuad Mustafa, Abu Dhabi

F1 doesn't belong in Austin, Texas

Tavo Hellmund: The Texan bringing F1 to America (November 11) was interesting but I don't think F1 is suitable for Austin, Texas.

F1 now is much more than the race; it is about an overall experience - concerts, hotels, culture, food, places of interest and tourist attractions.

Over the years F1 has been associated with glitz and glamour and the hosting of the race at exotic locations has helped. I don't consider Austin to be an exotic location.

I believe that a Nascar race would be more appealing to the population there, considering the nature of the city.

I've been to the F1 in Abu Dhabi and there were very few Americans if any at all. It appears that F1 appeals more to Europeans and Asians. Look at the drivers; you've got the Germans, Britons, Spaniards and Brazilians, not Americans, among the top drivers.

Randall Mohammed, Dubai

Turkish leader tough on Syria

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan used very hard language against Bashar Al Assad (Turkey increases the pressure on Assad to quit, November 17).

When the Turkish leader speaks of those who "feed on blood" we can see that he has turned away from any prospect of reconciliation.

Not long ago the Turks were speaking of getting along with all their neighbours, of having "zero problems".

But the behaviour of the Assad regime has made that impossible. The Assad gang has a new and important enemy to deal with now.

Bora Sezer, Dubai

Plane makers need competition

You report that both Boeing and Airbus will have bulging order books after the Dubai Airshow (Boeing wins the battle of Dubai skies, November 17).

This is good news, not only because it shows that aviation of booming, but because both the big companies are booming. It's not just purchase price for planes that is affected by competition between the two big firms; technological innovation is also spurred by competition, and that means that each passenger mile is cheaper and pollutes less.

You've got to love competition.

Victor Daoud, Dubai

Just carry an ID when exercising

Your story about the death of David Knight made awfully sad reading (Cyclist in morgue as frantic wife searched, November 16).

Nobody goes out for a jog, a run, or a bicycle ride expecting to die in the process, but adults ought to be aware of the possibility.

Carrying an ID card doesn't seem like too complicated a safeguard against confusion for survivors, which can only compound a tragedy.

Melanie Figar, Dubai

No such thing as Canadian cuisine

Canadian cuisine? Somebody must be joking with this phrase. (Festival explores the diverse flavours of Canada, November 16).

I'm proud to be Canadian but most Canadians live in big cities and don't eat caribou or elk.

Canadian kitchens do mostly have maple syrup on hand, and we do eat lobster and salmon, and there are many good cheeses, not only in Québec.

We have great sweetcorn in season, and our apples and tender fruit are as good as any. There are many good chefs and restaurants.

But few of us would claim that there is such a thing as a distinctive "Canadian cuisine".

Frank Whelan, Canada