Jul 282010

Catholic Action Center in north-side neighborhoods

By Jeff Gross

Part One

Nearly as soon as I moved to the north side in February 2009, I heard people call the Catholic Action Center a neighborhood pariah. At a Martin Luther King Neighborhood Association meeting, Movable Feast outlined their renovation plans for the former Nanna’s Soul Food. Local residents were concerned that Movable Feast would be another Catholic Action Center. They wanted reassurance that Movable Feasts’ clients would not come to the organization’s location at the corner of Fifth and Silver Maple and that it wouldn’t end up like the Catholic hospitality house three blocks down at Fifth and Chestnut. This isn’t to say that neighbors’ concerns are unfounded: a quick search of the Lexington Division of Police’s Crime Map shows a significant number of calls to the Fifth and Chestnut intersection, though most other intersections in the Williams Wells Brown, MLK, and North Limestone neighborhoods also show high numbers of police calls.

Between February 2009 and January 2010, I put little thought into the Catholic Action Center’s presence in our neighborhood. Perhaps because I lived five blocks away, I never paid much attention to the Center. I had no reason, good or bad, to notice it. Homeless persons walked down my street throughout the day, though I had no way of knowing if they were going to the Catholic Action Center or somewhere else in the area. Since then, I’ve learned that many of the people passing through the north side are heading to Baker Iron and Metal off Seventh Street to exchange cans for cash. Others in our area are making their way back to the Hope Center or some of the camps off North Broadway. Continue reading »

Jul 282010

Vacant Lot on N. Lime starting to grow

NoC News

Danny Mayer

"Beans are coming on soon.Pick anytime."

Slowly but surely things are starting to take off at the In Feed garden located on the 500 block of North Limestone next to the liquor store on Sixth Street. The bush beans planted by seed in the early days of June have begun to come on. People are already picking them. Two of the tomato plants succumbed to blight. The others, planted as small seedlings less than two months ago at the same time as the beans, are still small, but they’re all starting to set flowers, and some are producing fruit. An Italian heirloom zucchini and an avocado squash have been added, and both are prospering. Wood mulch now fully surrounds the growing plants.

The vacant-lot garden here was established less than two months ago as one of a series of garden projects for the group In-Feed. The group is one of a growing number of local gardening activist organizations that have begun to form during the past couple of years. In-Feed uses gardening as a tool for making under-used urban spaces more productive. It wants both to viscerally point out how little of urban space is used and to offer productive models for putting all that waste—private residential green space, vacant lots, business properties, church grounds, alleyways, sidewalk easements and city parks—back into use. Continue reading »

Jul 282010

Building a Basil Economy

By Danny Mayer

Danny Mayer

Palacio's chorizo.

I first started eating grits last summer while seeking out breakfast options at Wine+Market. Up to that time, my $5 purchase of eggs, either from the farmer’s market or at Wine+Market, provided the basis for many of my breakfasts.

The W+M grits purchase was something of a calculated risk for me. I had developed strong negative associations with the grain ever since a series of conversations with my childhood friend Jeffrey Bollerman. Jeff was part of the Jessie F. George School gang in New Jersey that I hung out with up through fourth grade when I left for Charlotte, North Carolina. At 10, Jeff was already worldly traveled, having once spent a week in the far-away sticks in South Carolina at a place he called Hilton Head, a town so backward, he claimed, that many of the roads were dirt and the only thing to eat there were these things called grits. Continue reading »

Jul 282010

A response to “Mall of God”

By Jake Caldwell

I am writing in response to the recent article in North of Center, “Mall of God.” I first want to tell you how much I have appreciated the work that you and your volunteer staff have poured into North of Center. I believe it is a much needed service to the Lexington community and the articles have been consistently well written and critically incisive.

Before I offer my response to “Mall of God,” however, a disclosure of my self-interests is in order. I am a minister on the staff of Central Christian Church, the congregation that Andrew Battista criticizes for acquiring property from the Windstream Corporation at below market value. Like almost all of the ministers I know, my work routinely positions me to see the shortcomings of my own congregation, which is to say that I do not, as a minister, labor under any pretensions about the church being above or immune from criticism. And like most ministers I know in mainline Protestant traditions, I agree whole heartedly with the issues Andrew raises with the way mega church strategy and polity parrots consumer trends. Continue reading »

Jul 282010

Musicians, venues, and promoters too

NoC Music Staff

For the past year, the music staff of this newspaper has sought to provide the community with consistent, insightful coverage of local musicians, and it has largely done so. Former Music Editor Nick Kidd had much to do with the establishment of the music page as a useful community resource, with informative, concise show previews, album reviews, and occasional features on some aspect of the Lexington scene.

But Nick has now left the paper, gone to seek his fortune in Austin, Texas, and now we sense a bit of a void here in the NoC offices. For the past year we relied on Nick’s familiarity with the local music scene to fill the page devoted to it; even in the leaner fortnights he always had something to write about, and usually some up-and-coming act the gray-hairs at the top of the masthead had never heard of. Continue reading »

Jul 282010

NoC’s music staff breaks down the next two weeks

Wednesday, July 28

Home Blitz, Jovontaes, and Dead Rabbits

Green Lantern. 9 P.M. $5.

Jersey-spawned Home Blitz plays the sort of uptempo punk-pop made popular by Iggy Pop and the New York Dolls, refracted through the jaundiced lenses of the Dead Kennedys and the Damned, put away for a couple of decades, and brought back during the previous presidential administration by a number of since-vanished bands whose names I never bothered to learn.

It’s authentic stuff; the guitars and vocals are frenetic and forever teetering on the brink of being off-key or out-of-tune, while the drums pound in that way that fairly demands the spastic/vibratory style of punk dance (except for that one really far-out guy who always shows up at gigs such as this and opts for something like interpretive space exploration and ends up flailing into your beer). Yet what’s yet missing from Home Blitz is the cult-of-personality frontman: the Iggy, the Johansen, the Biafra, the Vanian. Is it better to be more loved than feared or more feared than loved? Here, probably a bit of both.  –-Keith Halladay Continue reading »

Jul 282010

Jared Baize pounds Chris Simpson's rims into the dirt while Mike Rozzi looks on.

Danny Mayer

“Huffine factor” key to championship ride

By Danny Mayer

Coolavin Park

After a series of crushing tournament defeats, including a second place finish here at the BG State Games this time last year, Chris Simpson can finally silence his critics and add a tournament championship to his growing bike polo resume. Simpson and his Bourbonic Plague teammates Nick Redbeard and Henry Huffine outscored and generally out-pedaled the fourteen team polo field gathered in pursuit of last Saturday’s Bluegrass Games State Bike Polo championship.

Things kicked off at 12:22 when players and journalist gathered around BG State Games Commisioner of Bike Polo Brian Turner for roll call and a collective discussion surrounding some finer points of game rules over the double elimination tournament. No T-Boning, no high-sticking, and for godsakes, no striking the ball while using your foot for balance on the court walls, if you can help it. Continue reading »

Jul 282010

We’d like to apologize for an incorrect photo credit in our last issue. The front page photo of the S.E.E.D.S. entrepreneurs was taken (and generously shared) by Thad Salmon. Sorry, Thad.

Jul 282010

By Megan Neff

Julian Lynch, Mare

It’s been a week now.  I’m still trying to clear my head enough to write this review.  It seems no amount of undisturbed space within my mind will be sufficient.  But that’s sort of the way this album goes.  Attempting level-headedness while underwater.

Technically speaking, it all adds up.  Lynch, a former Smithsonian Folkways Recrodings employee, now studies ethnomusicology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  An expertise in music spanning decades and genres is apparent in the album’s very fabric.  World blends with folk blends with ambient electronic.  Ancient wood keeps time with modern synthetics. Continue reading »

Jul 282010

NoC Sports

With nearly 70 players participating in this year’s July 17 festivities at Veteran‘s and Shillito Parks, a 50 percent increase from last year, disc golf seems to be ever growing in the greater Lexington area. Of those 70 disc golfers, the top three from each of the 15 divisions were awarded either gold, silver or bronze medals. Here’s a quick rundown of each divisions medalists: Continue reading »