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Eat Arkansas

District Fare already seeing strong crowds

Quick service keeps up with demand

Meteor will land in LR June 7

The paper has come down from the long windows facing Kavanaugh Boulevard to reveal The Meteor Cafe, the coffee shop joined to Spokes bicycle shop at the corner of Kavanaugh and Markham, and the cafe has announced a June 7 opening.

Bar Bark almost off the leash: Check it out sometime in June

Bark Bar is straining at the leash, shooting for a mid-June opening, co-owner Elizabeth Michael says.

Dining Review

Fairing well

May 25, 2017
Fairing well
Tomas Bohm continues successful run with District Fare. /more/

Dining Search

A&E Feature

David Bailin's 'Erasings' capture the undulation of memory

May 25, 2017
David Bailin's 'Erasings' capture the undulation of memory
It's on exhibit through May 27 at Boswell Mourot Fine Art. /more/

To-Do List

Africa Day Fest at Bernice Garden

May 24, 2017
Africa Day Fest at Bernice Garden
Also, ZZ Top, Chinese Connection Dub Embassy, Potluck & Poison Ivy, Liverfest, Patio on Park Hill and more /more/

Columnists

Max Brantley

Virgil, quick come see

There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone. /more/

Ernest Dumas

Real reform

Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws. /more/

Gene Lyons

Conspiracy theorists

Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote. /more/

Movie Reviews

Medieval melee

May 18, 2017
Medieval melee
Guy Ritchie's take on 'King Arthur' is deft, if not sublime. /more/

Pearls About Swine

Post-season promise

May 25, 2017
What the coaching staff has done in 2017 constitutes a minor miracle and it likely represents the best work of Dave Van Horn's accomplished tenure. /more/

Blog Roll

Arkansas Blog

Hourly news and comment

Rock Candy

The guide to Arkansas entertainment

Eat Arkansas

For food lovers

Eye Candy

On art in Arkansas

Street Jazz

A view from Northwest Arkansas

Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 11:24:00

Hillary returns to Wellesley


Hillary Clinton, who first grabbed national attention with a speech at her graduation from Wellesley College in 1969, returned to her alma mater today as commencement speaker.

She reflected a bit on her loss, encouraged activism by the graduates and commented that the Donald Trump budget proposal was "an attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us — the youngest, the oldest, the poorest, and hard working people who need a little help to gain or hang on to a decent, middle-class life."

She also worked in a humorous dig at the man who defeated her:

Clinton also spoke about fake news and theories perpetuated on social media, joking that "some are even denying things we see with our own eyes. Like the size of crowds."
She drew a parallel, too, between Trump and Richard Nixon, on whose impeachment she worked as a young lawyer. She said things hadn't turned out as she planned last year, but, "I'm doing OK." She added, "Chardonnay helped."

She also paid tribute to what Wellesley had meant to her. And many other women. Its alumnae are remarkable.  But I'm prejudiced. I married one.

 

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 09:50:00

Transform government? Get rid of Rapert, 10 Commandments monument

click to enlarge myidea.jpg

click to enlarge offtv.jpg
Gov. Asa Hutchinson's idea to get ideas to transform government by a digital suggestion box has drawn hundreds of suggestions so far to the website.

Here's the complete rundown from the Department of Finance and Administration.

I was inspired to request the full list by reports this week from both KARK and KATV.

As they noted, some ideas were serious and policy driven. Some were serious, perhaps, but not realistic.

KATV said the most frequently expressed ideas included:

* Not putting the 10 Commandments monument on the Capitol grounds.

* Banning executions.

* Getting rid of Sen. Jason Rapert (an idea for which he had a fulsome retort for KATV including a Trumpian boast of his repeated electoral triumphs over "radical extremist liberals."

* Improving the foster care system.

KARK noted that ideas included getting Attorney General Leslie Rutledge off national TV and the resignation of the governor. Still, a spokesman said he was impressed by the thoughtfulness of many ideas. In addition to the website, state employees log telephone calls and the governor gets a monthly report.

I made a suggestion. Provide ready access on-line to the suggestions (in real time, I should have added) and amending the state Freedom of Information Act to end a virtual blackout of information in the governor's office. As I say, serious, but perhaps not realistic.

Full list so far has some good stuff, such as changing the law so that cities can establish no-gun zones. Another complained of giving $6,000 per student to the Arkansas Virtual Academy, which has no walls or anything approaching the staff and facilities of a real school. Also: open state data; equalize state employee and teacher insurance coverage; beer on Sunday.

 

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 09:29:00

Confederate statues: Arkansas has them, too, of course

click to enlarge TIME FOR STORAGE? Confederate monument at Capitol. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • TIME FOR STORAGE? Confederate monument at Capitol.
My column this week praises New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu for removal of Confederate monuments in his city and provides some of the background on how Arkansas joined the "cult of the Lost Cause" with a Robert E. Lee holiday and Confederate statuary.

So, for discussion on this Memorial Day weekend, what about Arkansas? Is there anyone, politician or otherwise, who says it's time to remove Confederate monuments from the Capitol lawn?

Before hell rains down, note the dedication speeches on the soldiers' statue and how it was intended as a symbol of the rightness of the cause of the Confederacy. I confess my own ambivalence. For whatever reason, I view tributes to those who joined the ranks in a state action differently than the tributes to Lee, Beauregard and Davis.

AP's Andrew DeMillo reminds me of the new state law that requires legislative approval for addition or removal of monuments from Capitol grounds. (So as to prevent the Satanists from getting a patch of ground, primarily.) But no problem. It took a Council vote in New Orleans, too. Legislators will be fighting to co-sponsor this one, won't they?

 

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Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 11:20:00

White Water Tavern named among Esquire's "24 Best Bars in America"

click to enlarge HANNA BENDLER
  • Hanna Bendler
Along with Austin's Half Step, NYC's Slowly Shirley and D.C.'s Columbia Room, Little Rock's favorite railroad dive gets a shout-out from Esquire this morning:

The White Water Tavern is perched along railroad tracks in a forgotten part of town. Streetlamps cast a movie-set glow onto a '40s Oldsmobile in the parking lot, where cars are parked like dusty fixtures that never left. A string of lights tossed in a bush and a cat greet you at the entrance. The tap and the jukebox are both down. But for a sum total of nine dollars, you get a stiff drink and admission into a room with red canoes suspended from the ceiling and a retro bearded guy with cuffed jeans and slicked-back hair unloading his original songs with the help of an old acoustic guitar, his voice enchanting, the poetry of the South. There are no singed orange peels held over pretentious glassware here. This is Americana as it should be—raw, a little ugly, but as honest as it gets. 2500 West Seventh Street Pro tip: After dark, wind your way by foot across one of Little Rock's three Technicolor pedestrian bridges and look back at the city skyline.

Check out this Arkansas Times article from 2010, in which the bar's patrons, champions and stewards tell its story in their own words.


 

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 10:57:00

Molly McCully Brown named inaugural Jeff Baskin Writers Fellow

click to enlarge download.jpg

Molly McCully Brown has been named the inaugural recipient of The Oxford American Literary Project’s Jeff Baskin Writers Fellowship, to be accompanied by a $10,000 stipend, housing and a nine-month editorial apprenticeship at the magazine in support of McCully Brown’s debut work of creative nonfiction.

That debut work, the OA reports, is to be an expansion of McCully Brown’s manuscript “What We Are,” which its author describes as “a collection of personal essays which approach, from a variety of angles, my evolving understanding of the intersection between the physical body and that intangible other I have come to call the soul.” Citing McCully Brown’s “unreluctant intellection, candid and crisp and often poignant,” judge Brian Blanchfield said the writer’s essays “certainly account what it is to live and work and teach and love with cerebral palsy, but her condition is not ultimately the subject of the capacious, reflective essays that make up the proposed collection. In understated, supple prose, she writes about the uses and limits of anger; about the relationship between disability and religious devotion; about the ways in which ‘explaining is a kind of erasure’ and yielding to stillness brings discovery.”

The fellowship is funded with support from ACANSA Arts Festival, Argenta Arts Foundation, Tenenbaum Recycling Group, Argenta Flats Apartments and Salter Properties, and honors the late Jeff Baskin, who headed the Willian F. Laman Public Library in North Little Rock and was an advocate for the arts. 


 

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 10:53:00

Forrest City native wins $50,000 Jackson Poetry Prize

click to enlarge Patricia Spears Jones - RACHEL ELIZA GRIFFITHS
  • Rachel Eliza Griffiths
  • Patricia Spears Jones

Forrest City native Patricia Spears Jones was announced as the 11th winner of the $50,000 Jackson Poetry Prize, awarded annually by Poets & Writers, a nonprofit that publishes a bimonthly magazine of the same name. Spears Jones, now a Brooklyn, N.Y., resident, is the author of poetry collections “The Weather That Kills,” “Femme du Monde” and “Painkiller,” and judges Henri Cole, Kwame Dawes and Mary Szybist lauded Spears Jones’ writing for its “fever of eros, the bones of family and friends, and the breath of everyday existence,” saying, “She is an accessible poet, but never boring. Patricia Spears Jones has steadily and quietly enriched the American poetic tradition with sophisticated and moving poems. More of us should know who she is, and even more should read her.”

Spears Jones is a contributor to BOMB Magazine and a senior fellow at progressive think tank Black Earth Institute, and has been the recipient of a 2016 Pushcart Prize and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship.

 

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