When it comes to alcohol, there is a strange puritanism that sometimes sweeps through the city like a witch-hunt fever as well-meaning people—usually progressives—attempt to shut down bars or liquor stores. Sometimes, as in the plan to eliminate the licenses of liquor stores in "impoverished" neighborhoods, it comes across as a paternalistic concern for the citizenry.Read more
I was sitting in an interview room on the fifth floor of the Police Headquarters and I was hungover as fuck. Two detectives sat across from me; their lieutenant at my side. I was hungover because my band played the night before and I was in Homicide because T.J. Smith, the public information officer, responded to a tweet asking me to give a statement to detectives.Read more
Whenever I can I try to go to the Lexington Market at 4 p.m. and get a coffee from Konstant's, the best coffee in town, and stand at one of the tables in the arcade and drink it and watch people and listen and watch the light stream in through the stained-glass window of the bull and the cornucopia up above the Eutaw Street exit.
Loitering is the purpose of the arcade.Read more
I was born on Nov. 2, the Day of the Dead. As a young man, I moved to New Mexico, where it was celebrated, and I was thrilled by the discovery of this momento mori on the day of my birth. It seemed to capture something important about the cosmos. And I especially loved the sense of gallows humor that came across in the artwork associated with the holiday, especially that of José Guadalupe Posada.Read more
In my last column, I talked about how some good cheap draft-beer growlers might justify some of the tie-wearing lawyer types now hustling around the borders between Mount Vernon and the west side. After a little more thought, I am not so sure about that. Maybe I want to take it back.Read more
We report on things when we fail to understand, because we believe that, through reporting, we might come to some understanding. The murders over the last few months have been baffling to everyone. Of course, it is not without precedent either here or elsewhere. For whatever reason, sometimes people kill each other.Read more