Cover Story: White Linen Fight In The Heights

Let's get this straight right out of the gate: White Linen Night is fun, White Linen Night is great, White Linen Night is one of those rare times when the surprisingly stuffy Heights lets its hair down. And nobody wants the event to wither and die.

This year's dialed-back affair was less raucous than last year's Mardi Gras-like bacchanalia, and that's come as much relief to some merchants and residents of the genteel, century-old suburb. So far so good.

But many wonder how much better the event could be were it not for its virtual takeover by Mitch Cohen, long the operator of the First Saturday Arts Markets on West 19th Street. How much of White Linen Night is designed to support his reddest of red-letter days at his for-profit arts market? How much of White Linen Night's gate goes straight into Cohen's coffers?

Was it okay for Cohen to commingle a for-profit arts market with a non-profit event, as he tried and failed to do this year? And why was there no booze for sale on West 19th Street this year, while there was an astoundingly obnoxious hard rock duo smack-dab in the middle of what could be...well, something a little more sophisticated-sounding than a Kemah party barge?

Find out the answers to all those questions, and peek behind the curtain to view the turbulent run-up to this year's event, in "White Linen Fight', this week's cover story.

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