And a good case of creative Apoplexy trying to write a headline that describe a hectic and insane week for yours truly.
There’s 4 stated “topics” that we talk about here at Very Vintage Vegas. The 5th one is about me. I don’t usually label it as such, but it’s subtly there. That’s where the Arthritis and the Antibiotics come into play. I’ve had a touch of arthritis in the shoulders for many years. Probably it’s a result of many years of trying to squeeze 5 foot packing crates into 4’11” spaces during my first career in the trucking industry. I told the story last June in the old blog, and published it below as our 1st Birthday update.
This year is the first time that coughing from a cold or flu or whatever caused excruciating pain in my shoulders. It was a doozy of a lung infection that I’ve had the last few days. That’s actually what’s kept me getting a good nights sleep in almost a week, and therefore left me with little time and energy for a comparable Doozy of a to-do list. Blogging 3 or 4 times a day suffered as a result. Well, that’s my excuse and my apology for not keeping up the normal blogging pace, and why I’m typing this at 5 AM.
Since I was sick, Josh Geidel, Lynn Zook, Brian Paco Alvarez kindly allowed me to not be in charge, and took the bull by the horns. They arranged the meeting venue, the pizza, the SaveTheHuntridge website, and are responsible for the ACTIVISM and ALLIANCES words that I used in the headline. Most of the early week was spent getting things organized, and passing out the pitchforks.
In a follow up piece in The Sun, Joe Schoenemann told Eli Mizrachi’s side of the story, which left us all curious as to whether it was a “real story” or just spin.
“Look, I’m not a bad dude,” the 35-year-old said. “If you could just give me anything to put in there, I would be more than happy to work with anyone. It’s a pretty old building, it’s pretty damn cool, but it’s really unusable, I guess, because we can’t get anyone in there.”
He said he has talked to the city about using it as a site for a museum. That went nowhere. He has also talked to “theater people” who came and looked at the space, which was long ago gutted of theater seats, “then never heard back from them.”
With pitchforks and torches in hand we headed to the meeting last night at the DCR. Immediately upon my arrival, Paco and Josh pulled me aside to tell me that they had spent the afternoon taking a tour of the Huntridge with owner Eli Mizrachi, and I was told that he was personally attending the meeting!(I had met Eli only 5 or 6 weeks ago, regarding a different project when I showed a building he owned in the Arts District). Essentially, no one has been in the building since the last concert almost 5 years ago.
After attacking a dozen pizzas from Uncle Joe’s we got down to business. After a telling of the history of the Huntridge, Eli Mizrachi was introduced to the crowd of 40 ACTIVISTS with THUNDERING SILENCE!. Most of the crowd did not know he was there, nor who he was. Eli told us his side of the story. He told us he honestly and truly does not want to tear it down. He’s made all kinds of efforts to find a way to make it not only a profitable piece of real estate, but place that the whole community can use and be proud of.
The entire tone and tenor of the meeting changed, as the crowd believed him. The tone changed from adversarial to cooperative! Thus, (as I alluded in the headline) a new ALLIANCE seems to have been formed, and the discussion turned to the real meat and potatoes of what to do with it.
I raised the issue that it’s not just about the Theatre itself, as the entire corner of Maryland and Charleston needs to be taken into account. We’re already sending a “there’s a problem at that corner” message to the world with the closure of Circle Park. There’s already an ACTIVIST GROUP, led by Huntridge Neighborhood Association President Lance Kirk, who was present. Another ALLIANCE fell quickly into place.
There’s STILL ALL THE REAL WORK TO BE DONE, but working with Eli Mizrachi, instead of protesting against him became the optimal way for us to Save The Huntridge.
We know that it can be used for performing art, indie movies, concerts, raves, art shows, meeting halls and all of that. What we have to do as an ALLIANCE is find the MONEY and the POLITICAL WILL to make it happen. Your help, ideas, time and energy are encouraged and welcome. You can leave remarks in our comments on this post or contact me to put in your 2 cents.
As we reported last week, the developers of the 40 some story hi rise mixed use condo and commercial project held another meeting with the neighborhoods to try to convince us that putting a massive project across the narrow SIXTH STREET from single family homes was compatible. I don’t think anyone was swayed from our basic “no way” opinion, even though the newest rendition of the plan addressed many of the minor concerns of the neighborhood. What it didn’t address, was the BIG CONCERN.
The planning commission hearing will be on Thursday March 13 6pm. Fortunately it’s the number 2 item for public hearing, and will be very early in the meeting. If you can attend, it’s a great way for you to continue or start your own ACTIVISM.
And I need to finish about APPRAISALS at a later time. As I just realized I’ve been typing and editing for hours, and didn’t take into account the daylight saving loss of an hour on top of it.