– Tube top update: The person I mentioned in the previous entry who refuses to wear tube tops has seen my post (see the entry immediately prior to this one – “Arkansas residents – your help needed”), and responded with a post in her own blog entitled “Damnit Paul.” She also sent me an e-mail with the same subject. Basically, she said she still hates tube tops, but she admits that she loves her Hogs so much that if I can find an Arkansas Razorback tube top, she might reward me by wearing it.
I’m pleased to report that I have readers in Arkansas actively searching local gift shops. One reader pointed something out – why don’t I just buy a regular red tube top and have the Razorback logo screen-printed onto it? Hmmm… that’s not a bad idea. I have a friend in town who does professional screen printing, and since I’d only need one color printed (white) it wouldn’t be very expensive. I’ll keep that in mind – but Arkansans, in the meantime please keep searching. Thanks for your help.
– FUN DOWNTOWN FACT: A pigeon is not able to lay eggs unless it can see another pigeon. If no other pigeon is around, its own reflection in a mirror will do.
– A new restaurant called Dawgie Style is getting ready to open next door to the cigar shop on the north side of Madison between Second and Third. Its menu, not surprisingly, will focus on hot dogs. Not sure what its hours will be.
– I finally got to have the pork tenderloin last night at the Majestic Grille. About 10:00 I ran into some buddies at the Saucer, and some of them were hungry so we walked over there and got seats on the patio. It was a beautiful night outside – light breeze, 75 degrees, not humid. The portion was substantial enough that I had to get a to-go box for half of it.
By the time we got done eating, it was close to midnight. My buddies were talking about going to McGuinness for a beer, and there was talk of Raiford’s later in the evening… for some reason, I felt like breaking off from the group and being a lone wolf for a while. So I ran my take-home food home, then ventured out on my own. I walked down Second, past Big Foot and the Saucer. Then I got to Beale. There was a line about 50 people deep to get on the street, which seemed odd because I could see that the street itself wasn’t that crowded.
I crossed the street, took a closer look, and discovered the hold-up. Now, not only are security guards checking IDs before you can get on Beale Street, but they’re also scanning you with metal detector wands.
It made me sad. It made me angry. I hate it that it has come to this. And yet it is completely justified. Downtown is no longer the safest part of the city. Nothing bad has happened to me, but I’ve heard plenty of stories the past few months about people who have been victims of crime downtown. I hardly ever heard those kinds of stories in 2003, 2004, 2005.
I didn’t stand in the line and get on Beale. I didn’t want to. I turned around and started walking. For the next hour I walked – angry, frustrated, but at the same time checking every alley, every dumpster, making sure there was no one hiding in the darkness waiting to jump me. It sucks to feel unsafe in your own neighborhood.
There are some people downtown who are pulling together a plan to do something about this, and out of respect for them I’m going to stop here, even though I could write another 20 paragraphs about Spring ’06 downtown crime. To them I will say this: I better see you guys start to take action SOON (like in the next 7 days) or I’m going to start doing my own thing right here in this blog.
If you have downtown crime stories you want to share (they won’t be published on this or any other blog unless you give express permission) or if you want to help be part of the solution, shoot me an e-mail.
I know I have a few people in the service industry who read this blog, and to them I say this: Be extra, extra careful when you walk to your cars (or to other bars to get a drink) when you get off work. Please spread the word to your co-workers – I worry about the people down here who get off late-night, especially the women. Don’t walk to your cars alone if you can help it. If you want the details about what has been going on – the stories I’m not sharing here – contact me via private e-mail and I’ll fill you in.
Sorry to be such a downer on a Saturday morning.