Monday, November 17, 2008

Kotz Drinkanistas vs. Urban Neighborhoods

Not only is PiTW's Pete Kotz guilty of speaking in vague generalities about how cities become vibrant sphincter-free epicenters without reference to their actual codes (ever heard of NYC's Paradise Garage, Pete?), not only does he mention Austin, Texas without reference to Austin's decibel restriction on amplified music (which might soon be Nashville's), but like so many other lifestyle les misérables Pete puts on a persecution complex to propose the preposterous point that his liberty is somehow maligned by limits on after-hours clubs. (Full disclosure: I've been to a few after-hours clubs in my time).

Pete refers to his preference for after-hours clubs as "freedom," which seems to cheapen substantive ideas like assembly, protest, voting, self-determination. I really have no problem with appealing to after-hours clubs or commercial consumption of alcohol in those clubs on the premise of having a good time, but bringing freedom into the debate is over the top. Maybe the economic argument that after-hours clubs help promote development is worth a fair hearing, but let's not confuse consumerism (including black market consumerism) and liberty. When the Happy Hour bar hoppers start using swizzle sticks like peasants with pitchforks or start mimicking mobs storming the Bastille buzzkill they have nothing left but weak arguments.

And the weakness is aggravated by a low tolerance for diversity outside of the empty-nest lifestyles of the young and the beautiful (his claim brushes variety to the "tattered" fringes). That seems to be the crowd who Pete believes will save Nashville, and after-hours clubs are the vehicles of the saviors' advent. However, urban residents of all stripes who have to live in the vicinity have valid concerns that hocking alcohol at after-hours clubs, which attract gangs and criminal activities, is like throwing gasoline on fires that endanger the safety of neighborhoods. Some of those residents have been banging away on Pete's argument for the past 3 days in the comments section of his post.

And their arguments against Kotz look strong from my spot in a diverse urban neighborhood:

Pete, you and anybody else who wants to see progressive I'll be happy to take you up to La Casa Blanca at 6am. We can sit on my neighbors porch and discuss the lack of personal freedom .... If we don't get shot it'll be great fun.

Get off [bill sponsor] Council Lady Anna Page's back . She is simply responding to what many Government agencies won't do . Apply the existing laws and ordnances to shut down these barely legal and in most cases illegal businesses . Get on the asses of the Mayor , the Codes Dept. , the Health Dept . etc. that can't or won't shut these places down . Council Lady Page is using her only resources available to her to remedy a deadly situation occurring in her district .

Shootouts, dead bodies, Surenos 13, MP13 and Brown Pride Gangs treated like VIPs, prostitution, drugs, gang tagging, drunks laying on their cars, crossdressers working the night, 15 men in 90 minutes urinating in public, illegal sell of alcohol in a BYOB club, total disrespect for the police. What have I left out?

Pete, Thanks for the press. Now maybe we here in Woodbine will get something done. It's absolutly ridiculous that a few shit-hole, afterhours clubs have more rights than citizens of a community do. Where is the 'Freedom' you speak of in that? Families laying on their livingroom floor to avoid the gunfire, prostitutes in the parking lot 15 feet away, drugs, gangs. Come hand out with us in Woodbine on the corner of Nolensville Rd. & Chilton Ave. between 3 and 6 am on any given weekend...excercise your 'freedoms' let's see how long you and can stand it. Anna Page is for the people of her community of Woodbine/Flatrock.

The people of Woodbine/Flatrock have been living in terror for well over a year now. Two separate families with children have moved elsewhere for the safety of their families. Why? All because of La Casa Blanca-La Copa Fiesta located at 3312 Nolensville Rd. This place is located right in the heart of residential neighborhood.

The owner of this establesment doesn't care about her neighbors, nor does she care about the businesses located next to her. As her overflow parking has gone into the neighboring businesses. Before these businesses can even open the doors for their own operation the following day they have to clean up their parking lots of broken beer bottles, used condoms empty baggies that that were used for some sort of dope. Not to mention the gangs that hang out there and do their own business right inside the after hrs. club. The shoot outs in the parking lots between the security guards and the patrons from the club. And lets not forget the houses that have been hit by gunfire or people finding shell casing by their mailboxes from the drive by shooting that occured back in June of this year.

Anna Page is doing something good for the neighborhood she is not opposed to people having a good time.

I closed down the bars downtown at 3 am every weekend and even tried the after-hours clubs a few times. However, I felt unsafe and surrounded by people who were in a very different state of mind. I don't remember any music or significant contributions to Nashville's night life so I guess I don't see the economic advantage. I personally think working to defeat the English-only referendum is a much better way to make Nashville look like a "cool city."

I pay taxes, am involved in bettering our community, volunteer at school and abide by the law, as do most of my neighbors. I choose to live in this neighborhood and I don't think moving is the answer or solution to any of these questions. If that were the case, then I would encourage you to find some land and open a commune with all-night establishments and require no rules. You won't like a lot of the patronage it will draw but since its all about individual freedoms, you shouldn't need security.

The police are enforcing the law. La Copa Fiesta and her 13 siblings around town have hundreds and hundreds of 2008 Police Reports. Why are they not closed down? Why do they only get a slap on the hand with an affordable fine. The Police are not the Judge and Jury. It is the "SYSTEM" one enters into after the citation is written that fails here.....
La Copa and La Casa was shut down recently for no WATER. (they did not pay their bill). But no one shuts them down for the illegal purchase or selling of alcohol, sell and use of illegal drugs, gangs with guns, public urination, etc.

An After Hours Club is in my South Nashville Glencliff neighborhood which I have lived for many years. This Bar opened in Jan. of 2008. The bar brought with it all kinds of crime-gangs, drunks, wreckless driving, prostituion, drinking from open containers in the parking lot, gross sexual behavior, guns and violence, and on and on. All of which I have personally witnessed.

Nashville's growth and ability to exist as a thriving metropolitan city does not hinge on the 'BYOB FACTOR'.

Isn't regard for safety more important than an after hour beverage? You know, you can choose to drink at home or at a friend's house.

The drinkanistas who ditto Kotz in the comments by contrast are predictably lame. They're blaming residents with legitimate community safety concerns with being buzzkills on their weekend fun and thus destroying realization of Nashville's manifest destiny to be hip.  They're chiding residents to move out of their neighborhoods if they don't like the increase in after-hours crime. So, whose freedom is being threatened in that exchange, Pete?

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