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100,000 AAdvantage miles for your thoughts.
We enjoy hearing what you think about the magazine — so much so that if your letter to the editor is published in a 2013 issue, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win 100,000 AAdvantage­ miles. Want a chance at the miles? Simply ­e-mail your thoughts to us at ­editor@americanwaymag.com.



FIRST CLASS EVERYWHERE
I am 82 years old and have flown with American Airlines for 42 years. When first traveling, I was surprised by such warm personal service from desk agents and flight attendants. Through the years with AA, my status rose to Gold, next Platinum, then back down again as I became too old to travel as often. But whether I sat in First Class or [Main Cabin], the smiles, warmth and personal attention never changed. Neither has American Way. No matter whether I sat in the front or the back of the plane, I found American Way in the seat pocket with content always as useful, diverse and delightful as the passengers. American Way is just one more example of American’s unvarying level of service to every passenger. This has never changed, and I hope it never will.
Constance Toverud, Oslo, Norway
 
Managing Editor Travis Kinsey Responds: The thing is, Constance, as delightful as you find American Way, we find you 10 times as delightful. Your note brings smiles to our faces, as we always strive to produce content that keeps our passengers both informed and entertained.



AN AMERICAN WAY DREAM
I am a frequent business traveler, and, luckily, most of my assignments allow me to use American Airlines. I congratulate your staff on their friendliness and professionalism. The icing on the cake was your May 1 issue, which led me to one of the best investments of my life. I pursued your advertisement in the magazine for Beachwalk condominiums and purchased my retirement dream: living on the beach with the added benefit of city life. Thanks for making life enjoyable during hectic traveling schedules. Your passion for gaining consumer loyalty has paid off.
Aneicy Syne, Port of Spain,
Trinidad and Tobago

 
American Airlines Business Development Director Walter Weems Responds: Congratulations, Aneicy, on what sounds like a fantastic purchase. Your letter is a testament to the power of advertising, and I’m thrilled that American Way and one of our advertisers could help you achieve your dreams. Best wishes on a speedy retirement to your new condo — the advertising team is jealous of your choice.



SEOUL AWAITS
I was delighted to read about Seoul (“Stepping into the Spotlight”) in the May 15 issue of American Way. Often overshadowed by more renowned Asian cities such as Tokyo and Shanghai, Seoul deserves to be in the spotlight. The city is one of the most technologically advanced, with a rich heritage and unique culture. The growing popularity in America of Korean dramas and K-pop music exemplifies the intrigue of Seoul. Thanks to Robert Michael Poole for the great article. I hope to be taking an American Airlines flight to Seoul soon!
Michael Hu, M.D., MPH, MS
Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Stanford University School of Medicine

 
Editor Adam Pitluk Responds: I couldn’t agree more, Dr. Hu. Seoul’s waiting for you. And for me. Let’s go book our tickets.



FUN READING
Although I am an avid reader of the Sunday magazine of The New York Times, I never fret when I’ve missed an issue. I know I will catch up by reading the letters to the editor in the magazine the next week. So, when I began to read the letters to the editor in the May 15 issue of American Way, I expected to be somewhat informed, but not necessarily entertained. Was I surprised! Your editorial replies had me laughing out loud in the middle of the flight. (To Marcia: “For the first time in my life, something I advocated actually worked! Which makes you my new best friend.”) Not only was I chuckling at the beginning of the magazine, but the final column on “The Original Ugly Dogs” made me want to wake up my husband to share it. I was already smiling from the photo at the top, which I originally assumed was of dogs dressed up by some punk dog owner for Halloween. Added to that was the very clever writing by Gus Garcia-Roberts (“The U.S. has the bald eagle. Peru has the bald beagle.”). I am looking forward to reading more issues of American Way in my travels.
Phyllis Meyers, Miami
 
A.P. Responds: The hardest thing to do, literarily speaking, Phyllis, is to make people laugh. To do it with regularity is masterful. Anything else is luck. We’re very lucky around here.



THE JOY OF SILENCE
I read the article “Silent Lucidity” in the May 1 issue of American Way. It detailed the experience of the author (Kathleen Parrish) at a silent retreat and listed the many advantages of such a respite. I was fascinated, so I did a little research upon returning home and discovered one such facility less than two hours away. I decided to give it a try. I returned from my four-day retreat at the Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Temple, and I must say it was one of the most invigorating brief vacations I’ve ever had. Who knew that spending a few days in a gorgeous, tranquil setting with a private room and bath and without phones, Wi-Fi, TV and talking could be so empowering? I had full run (quietly, of course) of the facilities, including the gorgeous Lake Shrine botanical garden. I hiked in the nearby hills or beach, found the meditation chapels and outdoor grottos to be increasingly seductive, and loved the beautiful vegetarian meals. I am now considering my next silent retreat at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center that was also featured as the travel entry in the Itinerary section of the same issue. Thanks for the suggestion.
M. Entéra, Montecito, Calif.
 
Writer Kathleen Parrish Responds: Thanks so much for sharing your experience with silence. I’m pleased to know I played a small role in inspiring your decision to spend a few days off the grid. I’m a bit jealous that you live within two hours of a retreat center — one with a beach to boot! Like you, I found silence to be powerful and empowering; a spa vacation for the brain. Who knew, right? Now you’ve inspired me to consider another silent retreat. Maybe I’ll see you on the meditation mat at Tassajara. We can greet each other with a high-five.



SCOTTISH C&W
ACROSS THE POND: The Marilyn Monroe estate's most in-demand look-alike celebrates the 777-300 flying from London to Los Angeles.
Joel Anderson
I’m 29,000 feet up with Music City in our vapor trail, and I’m enjoying your fine article on Tim McGraw (“King of Country,” June 1. My home is Scotland, but for the last seven summers my job has brought me to the U.S. Ever since I heard the chorus of “She’s Country” by Jason Aldean, which was my then-girlfriend’s roommate’s ring tone, I was hooked. Nearly two years ago, I married that gal from Nebraska and have since acquired some boots and a hat, and last summer I met some good folks in Weld County, Colo., who taught me how to throw a lasso. My company works with business students from the United Kingdom, and they get a week in Nashville at the end of the summer to see what this here fuss is all about. We head on down to one of our favorite spots, Whiskey Bent Saloon, to get honky-tonkin’. They’ve even shared some of their Scottish dancing with all y’all! I’m proud to promote country music (and American Airlines too) to these good people and maybe one day, after Cleveland gets its turn, Glasgow will make it as a country lyric. I’ll have those boots ready. Country ain’t countrywide — it’s worldwide!
Peter Burgess, Glasgow, Scotland
 
A.P. Responds: You’re right, Peter. Country is global, and I’m glad you met yourself a country gal from Nebraska. I spent some time in Lincoln on football Saturdays while I was at the University of Missouri, and I can say that Lincoln has some great country music. Nashville may be the place to be if you’re trying to make it big, but even those stars have to start somewhere, and Nebraska, Glasgow and even Cleveland are as good a place as any.



TRADING PLACES
When I was a kid, my family lived in Fort Greene, N.Y., and it was not such a great neighborhood. So it was a great pleasure to read how the area has come up in the last decade or so (“Fort Greene, Brooklyn, USA,” May 15). After I sent my sister the link to the article, she reminded me that Madiba restaurant is a stone’s throw from our elementary school (P.S. 20) and right on the bus line that took us to downtown Brooklyn (where the best cheesecake in the world, at Junior’s, is to be found). Thanks for the reminder of growing up in Brooklyn and about the good news for the neighborhood!
Nancy Miller, San Francisco
 
Writer Annie Shustrin Responds: Interesting fact, Nancy. I’m originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and now live in Fort Greene. We are opposites! Fort Greene is a great example of how New York City is continually changing. Now that everything is green, I don’t believe any other area is as beautiful. And by the way, I walk my dog by P.S. 20 every day.



GREEN IS BEAUTIFUL
I fly often and usually pick up the airline magazine out of boredom. Sometimes they can be thought-provoking, interesting, entertaining … but never has one made me cry. The June 1 article “Going Greens” in American Way is inspiring. In this sometimes cruel world, it was heartwarming to read how Steve Casey and his co-founders of Fresh Moves found a way to bring healthy food to their fellow citizens in Chicago who live in the so-called “food deserts.” They turned the gracious $1 sale of an old school bus by the Chicago Transit Authority into a fresh-food market on wheels. Goodness and greens prevail.
Mary Lockwood Crouch, Austin, Texas
 
Associate Editor Jan Hubbard Responds: We’re happy that when given a choice between boring and thought-provoking, Mary, you consider us to be the latter. The story was uplifting for all of us. Making food available in areas where there are no stores is a worthy endeavor.



MY BODY THANKS YOU
I never expected medical help while flying to Nashville this summer for a wedding. Eight months ago, when I visited my surgeon and was diagnosed with breast cancer, I learned that yoga is an excellent activity to practice during cancer treatments. I took that advice, and I can confirm that yoga has helped me minimize many of the side effects and mental stress while I work toward being cured. Thank you for the short article in the June 1 issue of American Way (“App Attack”) pointing me to an app for my iPhone and iPad for Yogify. Having downloaded that app, I can take my class with me when I travel and move through the rest of my treatments. The timing of this article was perfect for me.
Kelly Merlo, Temecula, Calif.
 
Project Coordinator Betsy L. Semple Responds: What a touching letter from you, Kelly. We’re humbled to know we did a small part to help in your recovery. You will have our prayers for healing, but your strength and resilience come through.



TRAVELING MAN
As the author of a travel guide, I travel often. My recent flight was delayed three hours, and since it was an international flight, the local connection to Miami was in danger of being missed. But even though I was traveling on an AAdvantage ticket, the call-­center agent changed my one-stop flight to a nonstop flight to Miami. I couldn’t be more satisfied with being a regular flier. By the way, I take a book everywhere, but when I fly with American Airlines, the book is left in my carry-on. American Way is always an entertaining and exciting read for the flight. Thanks for maintaining such good standards.
Rodrigo Sebastian,
Buenos Aires, Argentina

 
Editorial Intern Caillin Murray Responds: Like you, Rodrigo, I have been an avid reader of American Way for years and often forgo other forms of entertainment (or sleeping, during those long international flights) for the chance to read American Way and finish those pesky Sudokus. In fact, I like AW so much that I am happy to be working here for two months as an intern. With no pay. But, hey, I do get to answer letters.