By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Brian Wallstin should be recommended for a Pulitzer ["Biological Disaster," by Brian Wallstin, August 20]!
I am appalled, reading your article about poor Bruiser ["Hound's Hell," by Russell Contreras, August 20]. I cannot believe the police would act in such an irresponsible manner. I understand they are faced with aggressive dogs from homes they enter, mostly those of criminals. But this woman was right there, and she was herself a victim. I do animal-rescue work, and I agree with the animal activists that she should sue. The authorities need to understand that these animals are part of our family and cannot be treated with such little respect for their lives.
I am a 23-year-old black woman and can certainly identify with some of the things he spoke about. I work in the Galleria area, and I don't care how "well dressed" I am or how properly I speak, I frequently get glaring looks when entering certain establishments in this area.
Some people are just ignorant of the fact that people are people whether you're white, black or whatever. If God meant for it to be a big difference in us (other than skin color), we wouldn't be able to reproduce with different races. A cow can't have a chicken. Besides, I think life is more interesting since we all look different.
With every race of people, you have assholes, but in some people's eyes, black people will always be "the wrong element," except if you have money -- then you will be considered to be a "good ole boy."
Please keep me posted. I'd really hate to see him lose his club and his battle against this "bigwig" (Trammell Crow).
Your article on the Shepherd Plaza, "Stirring the Pot," is representative of white/black relations and how stupid white people can be. It is true that Shepherd Plaza was in steady decline by July of 1997, and as everyone knows, old clubs rarely have a second life.
Dan Robinson had the right idea (whether by design or not) when he went "dark." For the past 30 years (and probably more), blacks have flocked to where the white folk are, and in doing so, forever terminate the possibility of uptight whites returning. Shepherd Plaza, in its current form, will never be the cool scene.
If Trammell Crow and the bar owners at Shepherd Plaza had any sense, they would have gone along with the Voodoo Lounge and milked it for all it was worth -- a black Shepherd Plaza. Unfortunately, Trammell Crow and the remaining bar owners clung to a dream that they could resist the blacks and bring back the scene that they once had, a dream that will never happen. Now it is too late for all of them.
In the lead of your fine article in the August 20 issue , you mention a racial mix -- white, black, Hispanic."
Hispanic is not a race. (It's a language-based ethnicity.) This is a very common error in these parts, because the overwhelming majority of Texas Hispanics are the brown variety. But there are white Hispanics in Spain, black Hispanics around the Caribbean and, of course, brown Hispanics in Mexico and other points south.
A racial mix -- white, black, brown -- would have been accurate.
I have been going to Shepherd Plaza since 8.0 and Live Bait were the only bars there. During the height of the plaza, most of the patrons were college students, recent graduates and young professionals.
As the plaza matured over the past few years, the crowd started to change, and more undesirable people started frequenting the bars. When I say this, I am not discriminating against any one race. There were undesirable people from all races. These and competition from other areas contributed to the downfall of the Plaza. One thing for sure is, the Plaza was on its way down long before any of the downtown nightspots started opening up.
The Voodoo Lounge may have originally brought in an upscale black crowd, but it certainly went south fast! I live in the area of Kirby and Richmond. If you think police helicopters circling the area, sirens going off and subwoofers blaring from cars at 2 a.m. is a good crowd, you're crazy! I was putting up with this several times a week. I have no problem with a racially mixed crowd at any establishment. The problem is, it rarely maintains a balance, and usually goes one way or another. People normally do not feel comfortable going into a bar where they are the vast minority, and therefore stop going.
Mark Della Corte
Spare the Sympathy
This letter is in reference to Erica Sheppard ["Of Life and Death," by Muriel L. Sims, August 13]. I am sorry that our judicial system in Texas is inadequate, that her lawyer did an incomplete job and that she never received the help she should have gotten for such a sad life. But I know [murder victim] Marilyn Meagher's children, and the pain Erica caused is indescribable. If Erica is as faithful as she claims to be, then why wasn't she listening to God while she held Marilyn down? Where was God then? Duress, my ass! People under duress do not brag about these things later. Oh, and the Reverend Jackson's help is not a sign from God, it is merely a political courtesy call. Maybe she shouldn't die an early death, but maybe Marilyn shouldn't have either.