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s3mh

Houston Press trashes White Linen Night Organizer

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http://www.houstonpress.com/2012-08-09/news/white-linen-night-fight/

I was only out at WLN very early along 19th. Everything looked good to me, except the big soundstage east of Rutland was too much. People did not even want to walk in front of it because it was so loud.

I know nothing about any of the organizers or the people complaining. But I really do not see anything other than someone with very limited experience with directing special events making some mistakes and maybe biting off a little more than he can chew. There have been may larger debacles at other special events in Houston (Beerfest at Discovery Green for one). And it is not like the guy who is the target of the article goes around Texas fleecing arts groups and making money hand over fist.

Anyone know anything about this?

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http://www.houstonpr...en-night-fight/

I was only out at WLN very early along 19th. Everything looked good to me, except the big soundstage east of Rutland was too much. People did not even want to walk in front of it because it was so loud.

I know nothing about any of the organizers or the people complaining. But I really do not see anything other than someone with very limited experience with directing special events making some mistakes and maybe biting off a little more than he can chew. There have been may larger debacles at other special events in Houston (Beerfest at Discovery Green for one). And it is not like the guy who is the target of the article goes around Texas fleecing arts groups and making money hand over fist.

Anyone know anything about this?

Texas Beer Fest at Discovery Green went great, actually, a wonderful event by good people. Houston Beer Fest at Hermann Square and Tranquility Park was a disaster in 2011, but went fairly well this year.

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I didnt even know there was a beer fest.... so... what went wrong with WLN?

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Texas Beer Fest at Discovery Green went great, actually, a wonderful event by good people. Houston Beer Fest at Hermann Square and Tranquility Park was a disaster in 2011, but went fairly well this year.

Right. I had them backwards. I meant the 2011 Beer Fest that left everyone waiting in line to get in.

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I didnt even know there was a beer fest.... so... what went wrong with WLN?

Nothing. I didn't read anything unusual about injuries or crimes, just a few merchants felt they got ripped off for a c-note by some Cohen dude, chaulk it up to experience and use your brain next year. I believe there were more visitors than last year with the increase being mostly twenty-somethings. The crowds seemed friendly and white (clothes) and we hung with them until near midnite celebrating a coincident birthday. Up north you had more white linen suits while down south it was more white shirts and skirts. Next year I am going to push for a toga sector to fully de-link from New Orleans White Linen Night.

EDIT: Don't knock it, we could have had this instead:

http://www.nola.com/arts/index.ssf/2011/08/white_linen_night_2011_may_hav.html

"As always, fashion watching was part of the attraction and the streets were well stocked with splendid sartorial polar bears and snow foxes. There is an almost Zen-like wardrobe conundrum among many WLN attendees. If one cannot achieve both white and linen in one’s ensemble, then which should it be? This tribulation gives rise the occasional pink linen jacket or white seersucker mash up....."

Edited by fwki
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This year it seemed less like an open-house night for shops and retailers and more like a street fest. At least on 19th, which was the only part I saw this year.

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I've got to say that article was missleading and wrong in many ways. They were quoting the boom boom room lady as if what she said was the gospel truth. The complaint that WLN is now to "spread out" is completely bogus, 5 years ago it included Kaboom Books on Beauchamp and nia moves on pecore which is even more spread out that now. (Kaboom wants to be part of WLN still but they won't send the shuttle that far). The author also uses the "austin-like" phrase as synonym for cool. It really bugs me to compare austin to the heights as a reason why the heights is cool. The heights is its own thing, and it is cool because of that. This brings me to my issue with Cohen... why the change of slogan from the "steamy, sultry, exotic etc." to "local blah blah blah" Obviously it's local, it is a neighborhood event supported by neighborhood businesses. The Heights is NOT Austin, please don't steal their silly slogans to try to turn our neighborhood into something it isn't. If i see a "keep the heights weird" sign anywhere i will be forced to rip it down and shred it.

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I've got to say that article was missleading and wrong in many ways. They were quoting the boom boom room lady as if what she said was the gospel truth.

I'm not really sure which of her claims are in question. The main one seems to be that she paid $100 for placement on a map and was never added to it. Cohen doesn't seem to dispute this, and ended up refunding her money. So what's not true?

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Sounds like it's just more sensationalistic drivel.

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formerly owned by mexican mafia, event getting more spread out than before. If your going to spew things like that you better have some facts backing it up.

BTW I take threats by machete pretty seriously... did anyone report her for this (as it seems she was not on her property), who does she think she is... Danny Trejo?

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formerly owned by mexican mafia, event getting more spread out than before. If your going to spew things like that you better have some facts backing it up.

BTW I take threats by machete pretty seriously... did anyone report her for this (as it seems she was not on her property), who does she think she is... Danny Trejo?

To be honest, I never really got to the part where Cohen was a bad guy. I read "neighborhood Heights b**ch takes machete and threatens beer drinkers, then steals property from under them." Then I read "neighborhood Heights b**ch with a wine bar wants to steal WLN". Most of the commenters seem to have read it the same way. Don't know who this broad is, since I never patronize her joint, but most assuredly I never will now. Frankly, I root for her demise. We have enough a-holes in the Heights trying to impose their will on everyone else already, we don't need another armed with a machete.

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formerly owned by mexican mafia, event getting more spread out than before. If your going to spew things like that you better have some facts backing it up.

Well the mafia bit is about the former owner of her business, nothing to do with WLN or Cohen. More spread out, haven't they added White Oak in recent years, like the past year or two?

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After reading it again and hearing some talk in the neighborhood, all I get is the following:

1. A few businesses thought that for $100 they would get patrons shuttled from far more interesting and active venues to their distant spot on noisy Yale St. Owner of Boom Boom Room calls homeland security, the UN, and Buckaroo Banzai's strike team in to deal with an honest mistake that might be a plot to fleece small business owners out of a few hundred bucks.

2. Cup cake truck gets a bad spot and wants organizers to pay her babysitter.

3. An artist named Mitch Cohen is not very good at designing shuttle routes.

4. Owner of Hello-Lucky is an adult and understands that business owners are also responsible for promoting their White Linen Nights events beyond what they get for a whopping $100 (I do not think you can even get a tiny ad in the Leader for $100).

5. Some non-profit orgs cannot figure out how to structure the festival to compensate Mitch Cohen for bringing in artists for the arts market. (Non-profits can make a profit from a special event, they just cannot distribute that profit to members or officers)

6. Someone mixes up 501©3s and c(6)s and it is again worthy of a special prosecutor, InterPol and the international Criminal Court.

7. Current organizers and Mitch Cohen try to be responsive to the Houston Press, but get slammed anyway

8. Hack crime blotter guy at the Houston Press banks on White Linen Nights 2012 being an unmitigated disaster after organizers candindly admitted to the Leader that things did not go as they wished last year.

9. WLN 2012 was a big success and Houston Press crime blotter guy now looks like a cheap tabloid scandal monger

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Mark this date! s3mh and I wholeheartedly agree about something. As I stated earlier, the best way to punish a-hole business owners is through her wallet. I recommend taking a vacation from Boom Boom Room, whether permanent or temporary, in order to impress upon this woman that we appreciate Cohen's efforts, but not hers.

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s3mh doesn't realize that John Nova Lomax is one of the best reporters in town. I would tend to believe most of what he says as being reasonably accurate.

Red, did you see the part where the machete incident took place after patrons of the bar would not quit blocking/parking in the driveway of the woman's home? Probably far more effective than trying to get an HPD officer to show up, which would take a week or more if they actually cared.

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s3mh doesn't realize that John Nova Lomax is one of the best reporters in town. I would tend to believe most of what he says as being reasonably accurate.

Red, did you see the part where the machete incident took place after patrons of the bar would not quit blocking/parking in the driveway of the woman's home? Probably far more effective than trying to get an HPD officer to show up, which would take a week or more if they actually cared.

Oh! That changes everything! Here I've been thinking that a call to the police or even a tow truck would be appropriate, but really I should be busting out with my machete to solve my parking problems!

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Red, I've tried calling HPD about cars blocking driveways, sidewalks, etc. HPD doesn't care. They won't show up most of the time, and on the rare occasions they do, they get mad at whoever called them (I've had that conversation with a patrol officer a couple of times). You can tow a car that's blocking your driveway without calling HPD first, but then you have a pissed off drunk who is more than ready to trash your house and yard. Sometimes, you just have to make your point the old fashioned way.

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by committing aggravated assault with a deadly weapon? OK, I'm convinced. i guess the rocks in the grass doesn't cut it...so to speak.

Edited by RedScare

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So Red, what do you think the woman should have done, given HPD"s lack of interest in those situations?

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So Red, what do you think the woman should have done, given HPD"s lack of interest in those situations?

I am not going to get into a debate with someone who thinks brandishing a machete at people who block your driveway is a reasonable response. I stated my position...as if I needed to. You are on your own.

Do you also believe that this is the proper response to neighbors playing loud music?

http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/man-claims-self-defense-fatal-shooting-neighbor-115652180--abc-news-topstories.html

Edited by RedScare
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...Sometimes, you just have to make your point the old fashioned way.

Yeah, the good ole days like the way our society handled racial integration in the late twentieth century. For that problem we tried nooses and burning crosses, but that doesn't work on Mexicans. The only thing that works on those people are machetes and santeria curses.

After she solved the Mexican parking problem with a machete, the Mexcian music and clientele still irked her. Now she's got a problem with a guy named Cohen. I think I see a pattern here.

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you know whats funny.. the only reason I EVER thought about going to The Boom Boom room was because some people at WLN a few years ago told me it was a good place. I will make sure to NEVER go there now.

Ross... you think its a better idea to threaten someone with a machete than have their car towed... because your worried about what they might do to your yard/house. Pulling a machete on someone is a good way to get shot, especially since she wasn't on her property.

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s3mh doesn't realize that John Nova Lomax is one of the best reporters in town. I would tend to believe most of what he says as being reasonably accurate.

Accuracy involves a lot more than correctly reporting what the lady who runs the Boom Boom Room said. Lomax makes a big stink about how much Cohen wanted to get paid and the fact that Cohen also wanted to make money off of his arts market. But, Lomax does not provide the proper context. First, 22k is not a lot of money compared to what professionals would charge. I have directed much smaller events on a voluntary basis. It was a ton of work to get a small event (500-1000 people) put together. Getting vendors, the City permitting and volunteers set up took @20 hours a week for @4-6 weeks. WLN is a huge and complicated event. I am sure that it was a 24/7 job the last few weeks leading up to it. Given that there are very few people who can ditch their day job to dedicate themselve to directing an event like WLN, it is only fair that the person hired get a premium just for actually being available to do it. Second, Cohen makes money doing his arts market once a month all year long. Why shouldn't he be able to do that during WLN? A 501©3 could have simply hired Cohen to bring his for profit arts market to WLN as part of the entertainment for the evening, no different than hiring the loud bands on 19th street. People only got squeemish when Cohen presented it in conjunction with him getting paid to direct the event. One organization got over-lawyered and balked at it instead of working with Cohen to structure it to be legal. But Lomax thinks all of this is the devil's work because he did not take the time to understand the issues. Instead, if someone said "this looks bad", he reported that instead of trying to actually understand if it actually was bad.

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The $22,500.00 figure quoted was for a group of people not just Mitch. That is just one of the many mistakes in the article.

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Accuracy involves a lot more than correctly reporting what the lady who runs the Boom Boom Room said. Lomax makes a big stink about how much Cohen wanted to get paid and the fact that Cohen also wanted to make money off of his arts market. But, Lomax does not provide the proper context. First, 22k is not a lot of money compared to what professionals would charge. I have directed much smaller events on a voluntary basis. It was a ton of work to get a small event (500-1000 people) put together. Getting vendors, the City permitting and volunteers set up took @20 hours a week for @4-6 weeks. WLN is a huge and complicated event. I am sure that it was a 24/7 job the last few weeks leading up to it. Given that there are very few people who can ditch their day job to dedicate themselve to directing an event like WLN, it is only fair that the person hired get a premium just for actually being available to do it. Second, Cohen makes money doing his arts market once a month all year long. Why shouldn't he be able to do that during WLN? A 501©3 could have simply hired Cohen to bring his for profit arts market to WLN as part of the entertainment for the evening, no different than hiring the loud bands on 19th street. People only got squeemish when Cohen presented it in conjunction with him getting paid to direct the event. One organization got over-lawyered and balked at it instead of working with Cohen to structure it to be legal. But Lomax thinks all of this is the devil's work because he did not take the time to understand the issues. Instead, if someone said "this looks bad", he reported that instead of trying to actually understand if it actually was bad.

$27K is some pretty nice cheddar for nine weeks work. What is Cohen's day-job, anyway?

Edited by kylejack

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Mitch Cohen never made 27 k, end of story.

I know, and HP didn't say he did. Rather, that's what he stood to make if his wishes had been granted (Him being paid what he requested, and WLN covering the electricity costs for Arts Market.)

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His wishes? Yeah, ok.

As for his day job, don't know, don't care.

rlf715 thanks for the post. John is beyond incompetent with his so called story. He had a few bones to pick with Cohen, and should have left it off his story, a pathetic attempt at that. This crazed lunatic that owns BBR is a jew hater (a sources words, not mine). She also isn't pleased with other types of individuals, be it their skin color or whatnot.

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Accuracy involves a lot more than correctly reporting what the lady who runs the Boom Boom Room said. Lomax makes a big stink about how much Cohen wanted to get paid and the fact that Cohen also wanted to make money off of his arts market. But, Lomax does not provide the proper context. First, 22k is not a lot of money compared to what professionals would charge. I have directed much smaller events on a voluntary basis. It was a ton of work to get a small event (500-1000 people) put together. Getting vendors, the City permitting and volunteers set up took @20 hours a week for @4-6 weeks. WLN is a huge and complicated event. I am sure that it was a 24/7 job the last few weeks leading up to it. Given that there are very few people who can ditch their day job to dedicate themselve to directing an event like WLN, it is only fair that the person hired get a premium just for actually being available to do it. Second, Cohen makes money doing his arts market once a month all year long. Why shouldn't he be able to do that during WLN? A 501©3 could have simply hired Cohen to bring his for profit arts market to WLN as part of the entertainment for the evening, no different than hiring the loud bands on 19th street. People only got squeemish when Cohen presented it in conjunction with him getting paid to direct the event. One organization got over-lawyered and balked at it instead of working with Cohen to structure it to be legal. But Lomax thinks all of this is the devil's work because he did not take the time to understand the issues. Instead, if someone said "this looks bad", he reported that instead of trying to actually understand if it actually was bad.

^Exactly, and then some.

Reading that Jlomax is the best reporter around, I'm scared of what bad reporting would look like.

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Okay, now we have unsourced claims of anti-semitism from a poster who registered an account 4 hours ago.

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I'm not going there. I'll just stick with what the woman bragged about in the article.

Here's where I'm at. It seems that this article succeeded in two things: 1) the Boom Boom Room and its owner are not worthy of my patronage or money, and, 2) John Lomax has ruined whatever reputation he may have had as a unbiased reporter. I doubt that neither 1) nor 2) was intended by the writer or his prime source. Such is the law of unintended consequences. Or, what goes around comes around. Take your pick.

Look at how much time I'll save in not reading the Press or going to the boom boom room!

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Just an FYI - you can call any towing company to came and tow a car blocking your driveway. You don't have to call the cops.

The tow truck drivers fight for that commission, because they always get paid.

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I'm not going there. I'll just stick with what the woman bragged about in the article.

Here's where I'm at. It seems that this article succeeded in two things: 1) the Boom Boom Room and its owner are not worthy of my patronage or money, and, 2) John Lomax has ruined whatever reputation he may have had as a unbiased reporter. I doubt that neither 1) nor 2) was intended by the writer or his prime source. Such is the law of unintended consequences. Or, what goes around comes around. Take your pick.

Look at how much time I'll save in not reading the Press or going to the boom boom room!

I don't see any bias in the article, just both sides telling their story, and Cohen essentially acknowledging that the core claim is true: She paid to be listed on a map and wasn't. If you consider the machete incident damning, then why would you think he biased his article in favor of this woman? Sounds to me like it's a great inclusion for you to hate her bar, or whatever.

Edited by kylejack

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Just an FYI - you can call any towing company to came and tow a car blocking your driveway. You don't have to call the cops.

The tow truck drivers fight for that commission, because they always get paid.

Not in defense of brandishing a machete, but was this true at the time the events occurred? The article seems to make it sound like it happened quite a while back.

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I don't see any bias in the article, just both sides telling their story, and Cohen essentially acknowledging that the core claim is true: She paid to be listed on a map and wasn't. If you consider the machete incident damning, then why would you think he biased his article in favor of this woman? Sounds to me like it's a great inclusion for you to hate her bar, or whatever.

I have some inside information that I am not willing to share on a public forum. But, hey, if she sounds like your kind of wine bar owner, it is easy enough to find and patronize. Enjoy!

Not in defense of brandishing a machete, but was this true at the time the events occurred? The article seems to make it sound like it happened quite a while back.

It has always been legal to tow someone blocking your driveway. I found this out in 1986 on lower Westheimer. No one brandished a machete, either.

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I have some inside information that I am not willing to share on a public forum. But, hey, if she sounds like your kind of wine bar owner, it is easy enough to find and patronize. Enjoy!

Nope, haven't said anything nice about her and don't want to go to her dumb bar.

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Not in defense of brandishing a machete, but was this true at the time the events occurred? The article seems to make it sound like it happened quite a while back.

That's been the law for some time, according to my in-laws who have tow trucks. However, they would be the first to tell you that it's not always the smartest thing to have someone's car towed without trying to speak to them first.

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That's been the law for some time, according to my in-laws who have tow trucks. However, they would be the first to tell you that it's not always the smartest thing to have someone's car towed without trying to speak to them first.

I don't think they meant with a machete! :huh:

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I don't see any bias in the article, just both sides telling their story, and Cohen essentially acknowledging that the core claim is true: She paid to be listed on a map and wasn't. If you consider the machete incident damning, then why would you think he biased his article in favor of this woman? Sounds to me like it's a great inclusion for you to hate her bar, or whatever.

I agree. Lomax let this women sink her own ship. And did you see that picture of her he included with the article? The Thought Police could have arrested her on the spot for hate crimes. The first paragraph has her acting like a fool with a machete, calls the place a "cantina" twice with "unsavory" clientele, pins "Mexican Mafia " descriptor on the owner and questions his deed ownership status as "putative".

Take a look at HCAD records and you'll see her business partner (at a minimum) Walter Shannon owning her "Sunset Heights Bungalow" next door since 1998 and the Boom Boom property itself 2000-2005. Since 2005 an LLC controlled by both Shannon and the woman owns the Boom property. The woman herself owned the Boom property1998-2000 and before that it was not a Mexican Mafioso but a white artist named Jesse Cougot from 1988-1998. So her whole story sounds like BS, and I bet Lomax had his doubts but couldn't pass up letting her reveal her own warped mind.

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Hm, maybe she was the landlord and her tenant was someone else? They say she "engineered" a takeover or something, so maybe she just evicted her tenant?

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I don't see any bias in the article, just both sides telling their story, and Cohen essentially acknowledging that the core claim is true: She paid to be listed on a map and wasn't. If you consider the machete incident damning, then why would you think he biased his article in favor of this woman? Sounds to me like it's a great inclusion for you to hate her bar, or whatever.

Last year. Why was this published the week after this year's event, then? Sounds like an unresolved vendetta. Also, 5 pages for $100 worth of crying in her coffee. I mean, she got her money back. If this was about the money, done deal.

Based on some of his comments in the Comments, sounds like Lomax wanted to get Cohen booted as organizer of this event with this article.

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Last year. Why was this published the week after this year's event, then?

Cohen posted a response to the article weeks before it was published, so Lomax has apparently been working on the article for a little while. WLN should be glad that Lomax did wait until after this year's event to publish. It could have come out the day before.

Sounds like an unresolved vendetta. Also, 5 pages for $100 worth of crying in her coffee. I mean, she got her money back. If this was about the money, done deal.

Because not everyone got their money back. There's another woman who owns Pepper's who also didn't get listed on the map, and didn't get a refund.

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Still seems much ado about nothing....

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Reading that Jlomax is the best reporter around, I'm scared of what bad reporting would look like.

Just look at the chronicle.

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Cohen posted a response to the article weeks before it was published, so Lomax has apparently been working on the article for a little while. WLN should be glad that Lomax did wait until after this year's event to publish. It could have come out the day before.

@KyleJack Whether it had come out the day before or 3 weeks before, it wouldn't have affected the number of people attending and having an excellent time. It's a great event. That our leading alternative newspaper dedicates a front-page article to a $100 grievance and "he said/she said" is the part that makes me shake my head.

For the most part, I greatly respect what Mr. Lomax does. Yet, "investigate journalism" (if that's what we're calling his piece) carries the burden of fallout. Framing some simple mistakes as "fraud" could as much as threaten someone's future job prospects. Even tone is not without its implications. And the omission of certain facts and "testimony" by a few close to the situation most assuredly reflects a bias. Even the title reflects a bias.

Scrutiny and oversight are legitimate. But Lomax, in his subsequent comments, clearly expresses his opinion that Mitch should not be running the event. That, my friend, reflects a bias. Period.

Edited by LolaJRS
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Fraud is the word that HAAC's lawyer quoted in the article used, not Lomax. Lomax is reporting what the guy said, whether he's right or wrong. If Cohen or his associate's mistake about 501c3 designation and tax-deductible donations was honest, why would he send the correction to a much shorter list of people? Could it be because he was hoping to still get some more signups from those who were enticed by the charity aspect of the event? And if it was being promoted as a charity event, why did he submit a budget to HAAC that had all income being paid out to expenses? Why not just drop the charity charade?

I know that you and others know more about Cohen than me which is why I haven't speculated on his character beyond what's reported in the article.

Edited by kylejack

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