Phone Message Transcript: Feb. 9, 1997
[appearing on Anne's fan phone line]
"Good morning, everybody. This is Sunday, February 9, 1997. This is Anne Rice. I have just read Mr. Copeland's two page ad regarding his Straya's restaurant in the Times Picayune, and this is my response.
Dear Mr. Copeland:
If taste is purely subjective as you say, why are you going to see me in court? In my special message in the Times Picayune which appeared early this week, did I not express a subjective opinion? Is that right to express a subjective opinion not protected by the Constitution of the United States? Let me express that opinion again, your building is hideous.
Regarding St. Charles Ave. blighted and neglected areas such as that of St. Charles between Lee Circle and Jackson are especially vulnerable to the constructions of fast food restaurants and tacky structures. They invite exploitation. They invite irresponsibility. What often happens in such an area is that the neglect and ruin is so great that those coming in create a new area or strip of ugliness which creates a secondary and hideous problem which is much more difficult to undo than the first. St. Charles to Lee Circle has always, all my life, been an area in trouble. I have dreamed since early chidhood of seeing it restored to a gracious and inviting commerical zone. And, I think I will see this in my lifetime.
In the meantime, let me express again my personal opinion fully protected by the Constitution of the U.S. that your Straya's restaurant now compounds the problem of the strip with its intrusive ugliness. You have proved insensitive it seems to me to the feelings of your neighbors and those around you. And you have proved insensitive to the architecture around you which is in fact intact. The presentable Pontchartrain Hotel is not delighted and you are in the same block with it and your building clashes with it somewhat horrible.
Let me also suggest to you, again expressing my right to free speech, that I am more than familiar with the history of art deco. I have studied it in great detail as a matter of fact. I own property in Miami Beach and art deco strikes me as a very beautiful style. I do not believe your building qualifies as art deco. I do not think there is a name in our language which could accurately describe what you have built in your Straya's restaurant. Perhaps education on this point might help you. In your television attack on me earlier in the week you appeared to be a naive and gullible man. I urge you not to worry about crosses, crucifixes, garlic, and petty insults, but be on guard against unscrupulous lawyers. For naive and gullible men often invite, become the prey of, actually, unscrupulous lawyers who lead them to believe that they can win cases in court which in fact not even cases that should not even be admitted to the court and is certainly not winnable. I think these, this type of lawyer is more dangerous really than any metaphorcial vampire. By the way, I am the purchaser of one of the buildings that you picture on one of the pages of your ad as an unoccupied building and I do have plans to make it into a very elegant and beautiful restaurant called The Café Lestat. You will always be welcomed in that restaurant but you will have to check any weapons at the door, and that includes stakes.
Mr. Copeland, please think more about your neighbors. Please think more about what we need. Please think more about New Orleans. Please think more about the whole area and how helpless it is, and how vulnerable it is, and how much it needs responsible action. Thank you very much. Yours Sincerely, again expressing personal opinions fully protected by the Constitution of the United States,