"Where's the Outrage?"

Andy Uhler stopped by Unfair Park HQ yesterday to talk Deep Ellum, for a KUT-FM (90.5) piece that'll air on Austin's National Public Radio outlet a week from today. And after he asked me what I thought they ought to do with the neighborhood, he told me what he'd discovered during a few days down there. Because, see, to folks who live in Austin, the state of Deep Ellum is unfathomable. Uhler used one word to describe the rows of buildings with "For Lease" signs hanging in their broken windows: "haunting."

Sure, clubs come and go all the time on Sixth Street, but in "a so-called arts district," as Uhler put sit, they'd get gobbled up in an instant by the next would-be dance club or eatery or rockatorium. I had to explain to him that this is what the landlords want: to empty out their buildings so they can more easily tear 'em down or sell them en masse to an outside developer who will raze them before anyone says boo. Which was another thing Uhler wanted to know: "Where's the outrage" over the state of the neighborhood? You guys paying attention?

Among the folks Uhler interviewed was Jim Heath, Reverend Horton Heat hisself. They met at 1 p.m. a couple days back at Cafe Brazil on Elm Street; Uhler reports that during lunchtime, there were two people in the joint -- a couple of cops on break. He said Heath gave him a tour, pointing out the Things That Used to Be (Prophet Bar, where Heath once lived; Theater Gallery; Trees; etc.). Uhler says no one was out walking the street. He was flabbergasted. Where's the outrage? Indeed. We'll link to his story the moment it goes online; can't wait to see what he says about what he saw down in Deep Ellum. --Robert Wilonsky

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