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About those tattoos 

My stars and garters! That was a favorite saying that my grandmother used when she was shocked. When I was all primed and ready to roast Mike Huckabee, I turned the page in your issue with the cover story on tattoos and thought I was looking at a girlie magazine.

Some people (I don’t know any personally) may think they look good with nose rings. (We used them to lead a mean bull around.) Naked girls do not look great, in my opinion, holding their breasts in glorious, living color.

A small tattoo I can stand, but an entire body covered with this garbage makes me want to throw up. Don’t tell me it’s art. My son is an artist and he uses canvas, not people’s skin. No wonder this world is in such a mess.

Peggy Wolfe

Hot Springs

Unsavory characters

A wide-ranging exchange of e-mails to the Downtown Neighborhood Association web site has included comments, even criticism, of unsavory sorts hanging out around Warehouse Liquor at 10th and Main. Some — but not all — of those comments have included observations about unsavory sorts hanging out around First Presbyterian Church at Eighth and Scott, where Stewpot has served lunch five or six days a week for about 30 years.

1. Warehouse Liquor is not First Presbyterian (and vice versa). 2. They both have been there a lonnnnnnnggggg time. 3. Tarring lots of fine folks with a big brush is an Rx for disunity.

I have some personal experience with both places. Here are some comments and suggestions.

I have shopped at Warehouse Liquor for about 35 years. Their clientele was and is extremely varied. There are yuppies and senior citizens from the MacArthur Park neighborhood and the Governor’s Mansion area. There are winos from the same two areas plus from under the various bridges and homeless shelters that range from the old VA hospital to Second and Cross. The clientele is somewhat more upscale than my closest liquor store at 23rd and Arch (which has a much more limited wine selection) and numerous other liquor stores in the Quapaw Quarter.

I have shopped there once or twice a month for 30+ years. I have never had any trouble, not even a request for money. I have never observed drunken behavior in the lot, although I have observed wino-type folks walking east toward some of the slummy houses on Scott and eastward. (Let me hasten to say not all of the houses on Scott and eastward are slummy, just some of them.) I often drive, walk and jog on Scott. I have never seen a wino walking north on Scott to First Presbyterian carrying the proverbial paper sack.

I have served meals and distributed clothes to folks inside and outside First Presbyterian for several years. I drive by Eighth and Scott about once a day, all hours of the day and night. Most hours of the day and night there is no one there. Around noon a crowd congregates to eat the free meal provided. When it is cold they congregate hoping the Stewpot will open early, as it often does. Citizens, even scruffy homeless and hungry ones, even winos, have a constitutional right to sit on the wall at Eighth and Scott and to walk the sidewalks. They do not have a right to break the law. The distinction is important.

It seems from what I can pick up that some residents rented or bought residences within a few blocks of First Presbyterian and/or Warehouse Liquor without knowing those two operations have been operating for 30+ years very similarly to what they do now. “I love the neighborhood. Now change…” ?

We have a president who said he was a compassionate conservative and that his favorite political philosopher was Jesus. I am pretty sure Jesus would be compassionate about the hungry folks who take bread and non-alcoholic drink at First Presbyterian. I’m not sure about the president or some of my fellow denizens of the Quapaw Quarter.

Robert Johnston

Little Rock

Dress for dinner

The “Loving Valentine’s” dining review.

It was a great review, but how discouraging to see a photo with customers who look disheveled eating there. I’d have thought of Valentine’s as a place I could take my wife where we could be a bit dressed up and have an elegant meal with good wine, but seeing people dining with their caps on!!!!! really turned me off. All the more so because I just returned from two weeks in NYC, where people dressed like that wouldn’t get in the door of even a reasonably decent restaurant.

Maybe I should thank you for showing me why I ought not eat there unless I’m wearing jeans, shitkickers and a T-shirt.

Richard Olszewski

North Little Rock

Sidewalks

I would like to mention the lack of sidewalks in the midtown area. There are nice shopping areas in midtown, even nicer if they would hurry up and destroy University Mall, but there are not enough sidewalks for families to walk to these places. In order for Little Rock to become a more family friendly place it is necessary that the city Planning Department look into adding more sidewalks.

Courtney Kelly

Little Rock

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