A Night at the Pothole
Jude Wanniski
May 7, 1997


Mrs. Katherine Brush
Chairman, Patron Program Metropolitan Opera Association
Lincoln Center
New York, N.Y. 10133

Dear Mrs. Brush:

I received your letter of April 16, inviting me to add $500 to my annual gift of $1,000 to the Met, which you advise will permit me to use the complimentary coat check and Patron lounge. I've never used the complimentary coat check, and the Patron lounge has become so crowded in recent seasons that one has more elbow room at the open lounge areas. It is distressing to hear, though, that these services which I once used at the $1,000 gift level are no longer available to me.

To tell you the truth, Mrs. Brush, I've been thinking of not doing the Met anymore, as much as I love the performances. I've just returned from my car dealer in Mornstown, NJ, after getting a new wheel and tire for my new BMW. After last Monday's fine performance of "Eugene Onegin," I was unsuccessful in maneuvering around the potholes of Ninth Ave on the way to the Lincoln Tunnel. At 11:20 pm, the right front tire blew on a giant pothole that came upon me suddenly. It was some time before I could get the spare on. The tire was destroyed along with the wheel, and the bill for the mess was $522. I have a $500 insurance deductible. The BMW dealer in Morristown commiserated with me, saying this was the third wheel bent in the last week by potholes in New York City that has come through their little shop, 30 miles from Manhattan!

It is most discouraging, Mrs. Brush. I know it is not your fault that Mayor Giuliani prefers to prance around pretending he has made the city liveable instead of filling potholes, but I have only so much money, so much patience, and so much time. The Met could well become a casualty. By that I mean to say, I am not sending another $500.

Sincerely, as ever,

Jude Wanniski