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Sin Alley


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Somebody mentioned Kerouac-he used to come through Houston because one of his pals-Burroughs?-had a little farm up in the BigThicket area. I think that's accurate.

Kerouac made a couple of trips to Houston when William Burroughs lived in New Waverly and grew pot on his farm there. Many of Kerouac's letters are owned by the University of Texas and in one of them to Burroughs he states he wants to come to Houston to see the Texas-Rice football game (I believe this was about 1948 or so). There is a thread somewhere in the history section that discusses an old hotel in Houston where they scored some dope. Burroughs, Alan Ginsberg and Hubert Huncke used to drive into Houston for cheap thrills when country life used to get too country for them. Since they were all bi-sexual or homosexual, they no doubt tapped into the Bayou City's subterranean sex scene.

Edited by Retama
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  • 1 month later...

In the 50's the area with the Mid Lane apartments was famous for "block parties" and that was how the name "Sin Alley" came to be. The streets would be roped off to vehicular traffic on the week end and the guys and gals would all open up their apartments for anyone to enter, for any reason :D , and the music was loud and a lot of activity around the pool areas throughout the area. It was a fun time for all but I can't imagine this kind of thing now. It would be dangerous now but a great time then. For awhile B.J. Thomas, my friend, and a couple of his band members lived there. There was a lot of booze and some pot but nothing that ever got out of hand. Later there were some problems and eventually the City of Houston banned block parties. But for those of us who participated then it has some really great memories.

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  • 4 months later...

I moved into a cute apartment on Briarglen - one street closer to the Loop than Mid - in 1993.

As we were taking stuff upstairs, my dad stopped in the living room and shook his head.

I asked him what was up.

He admitted that, his flaming youth being what it was, this was not the first time he'd been in this particular apartment. (Turned out an, um, dealer buddy of his once lived there.)

He said the Mid Lane denizens used to rope off each end of the street and have a block party on weekends. Sounded fun!

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  • 4 years later...

Midlane was just one of a host of complexes in the area, also Three Fountains, Cummins and Timmons Lane being the ones I remember. I can't tell you how many parties I went to between say, 66 and the early 70's. They weren't roped off. Each section had its own pool and the word would spread during the week where the action was. You just crashed the party. I usually brought a bottle, but the kitchen was usually filled with booze. The girls were hot and flirty, and the humid, sultry aire somehow made it more alluring. I remember a night when they kept playing the Stone's "Let's Spend the Night Together."

There was a drive-in nearby, and later a Jack in the Box, where i spent a lot of bucks.


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In the mid 60's Sin Alley was going strong, it was wide open in those days. I lived in the 2000 block of Midlane very near San Felipe. In the 60's there was a Shell service station on San Felipe at the very end of Midlane. You could drive straight into the drive way of the Shell from Midlane. The man that owned the service station lived in the apartment next to me. A handsome man in his early to mid 40's. He seemed to know just about everyone in Sin Alley. His parties were the ones to attend. He was called the mayor of sin alley. Over the years I have forgotten his name but I will never forget him. 


I remember once that a local radio station was giving away a car and would give daily clues as to where the car could be found. It turned out that the car was parked in the parking area right behind our apartments. A college friend from the same complex that I lived in found the car. I will never forget how dissapointed I was to find out the car was an early to mid fifties Henry J.

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  • 2 months later...

   Ha, Ha, ha  Sin Alley, I was a resident and had several running mates there during the seventies. I grew up in that area, and went to Lanier Jr High and Lamar High.


   Sin Alley was a blast, weekend block parties, every known drug, and the people were outasite. The streets would be roped off on saturday and we partied til sunday night. There were Bikers, strippers, hippies, and Gays. Most everyone turned on.


   Sin Alley was a community of cool people that banded together a lot. Once there was a girl that bought what she thought was coke and got battery acid instead, the word got out and the culprit disappeared. That was sin alley, an underground community.


  There are a lot of stories of infamy, drug busts, and guns, money, betrayal, it was exciting and also infamous.



    Art Wrens    Ha,ha here's another old haunt, was there from 70 to 76, knew the Beverly and Art Wren, Rocky was the Manager that looked a mafia hitman, Bob was night manager ( would get on itercom and tell me sit down) Jack Gwen had the bar (silver Dollar) in back. All of our freinds went there iincluding Bandits, Dealers, hookers, hustlers, and users. It was open 24 hours and had a bad rep before it was a gay pickup place. simpsons was much older gay pick up joint.


  Art Wrens was totally a show, with Drag queens and their lovers openly displaying ( arrestable offense then) you might see a rich drug dealer sitting next to the mayor of a memorial drive community, and also a hustler and prostittute at the same table, the theme song was "in heaven there is no beer", when played on juke box eveyone sang along. A real Center of Decadence and depravity. The Wren's were great people, I loved them.


   Space city news published undercover narc license plates, A pound of weed could be bought in front of prince's hamburgers for 50 bucks, it was a felony, Tortilla flats block parties, Frank zappa played in bars on w alabama and w richmond, the Green frog, freaky foods (richwood Mkt) baseball games with cops near the zephyr. Montrose was Sub culture to the max.


     Little David

Edited by Loanmaker
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  • 7 years later...

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