Author Archives: rami1301

Parking Disaster:on Washington Ave. by Ana Ramirez

Washington Ave
Houston, Texas 77007

On our way to my brother’s school it is hot, humid and we are stuck in traffic like every day. You could see how the cars start piling up one in back of the other and the line keeps growing bigger. Finally the light turns green, but only for a couple of seconds before it turns red again.

You don’t see many people walking at five a clock on the street of Washington Avenue between Heights and T.C. Jester, all you see at this time are cars pulling in and out of the parking lots. I smell the different types of food from the restaurants nearby like Jack in the Box, El Rey, and nearby bars. My stomach growls like a lion and it’s only getting hungrier by the minute-the fresh smell of roasted chicken in the air only makes it worse. Small businesses on both sides of the road are full with customers at this time, and more and more keep coming in.

Washington Avenue used to be a very quiet neighborhood. I remember when my mom and I would catch the metro to go to a nearby Matamoros meat market on Washington Ave and TC Jester. Now the meat market isn’t there, it has been replaced by a new one like many other businesses have. Most of the houses are being replaced by all these new townhomes and condominiums. People that have lived here for years are now selling their properties and are moving into another neighborhood.

So many changes have been made throughout these couple of years it’s not the same quiet neighborhood that I remember. Now it’s full of small business shops like stores, restaurants, bars and lots of traffic. The traffic only gets worse with each minute that goes by you could hear the engines of the cars as they sit still without moving an inch. On our way back to the house the traffic has not changed at all but is now worse than it was before. Cars are now being parked on the side of the street because there aren’t enough parking spaces. Businesses like bars and restaurants fill the streets at night with customers this causes them to have to park their cars all though the side of Washington Avenue. Another problem is nearby construction and road work on I-10. There has always been a problem with traffic on I-10 and if traffic was big then, now it’s only getting worse. Traffic is bad enough with only two lanes to drive on and you could imagine how it gets when one lane is being closed by cars and more and more cars pile up as they try to find their way out of the traffic by finding a better route throughout the small streets. Something needs to be done about this. It isn’t fair for long time residents to have to suffer the consequences. And if more people gather together to fix the problem then maybe we wouldn’t have this problem in the first place.

Everyone has a problem with the neighborhood that they live in and complain about it, but if no one does anything to fix the problem then you can’t complain because you are also responsible for letting the problem grow. If everyone gets together and argues about what they could do to fix the problem and how they could let everyone know how they feel then they could fight for what is right.

The article Legalizing Walking talks about how something so easy like walking has to be legal for you to do. People can’t just go outside and walk like they normally would they have to have permission from the government first. And if there’s nowhere to walk, then where are they going to walk? On the side of the road where there’s hundreds of cars passing by every day? Or on peoples yards, if there’s no sidewalks?

These are some Questions that the author answers in Legalizing walking. Not many of us think about these things like the author does, or do something about the problem. We may be walking on day and notice that in some places there are sidewalks while in others there aren’t any. My neighborhood has sidewalks for you to walk on, but not all places do. You may be walking in one block and when you get to the next block there is no sidewalk. This forces you to have to walk on the side of the street. What happens when children have to walk on the side of the street? They too run with the same risks you do, and if no one does anything to fix the problem, who will?

This is why we have people who represent us and work hard every day to make our life’s a lot better and easier every day. The author doesn’t just give us the problem he also give us solutions and the things that are being done every day to fix the problem. You may think that putting a sidewalk is something so easy that many of us can do and why shouldn’t every street have a sidewalk so we can walk on. Well it’s not as easy as we think because of everything that has to be done before putting a sidewalk. There are laws that have to be passed and once the laws are passed there are rules that have to be followed. The author talks about some of the steps that have to be done in order for this to happen, “The next step involved a twelve-member committee that crafted the actual ordinance and included six developers; four consulting architects, engineers, and planners; one governmental representative; and one advocate from a nonprofit.”(pg 8, ph. 5, cite) This is an example of one of the steps that has to be done before a law is passed. It is not that easy to pass a law because some of the things that have to be kept in mind are businesses, homes, parking, traffic, safety, and the people. What the Mayor’s and committees have to look and solve is how a property is made for example its location, parking, traffic, and most important the location and size of the sidewalks. This is why it’s so difficult for us to walk without a problem or anything to worry about.

Not many of us do this though; we just complain and wait for someone else to do it for us.

Some of the solutions that I think could think of to fix the problem with the traffic on Washington Avenue are to make more parking spaces available for the people. It could be a big parking lot with several floors where many could just park and walk to where they’re going. Or what’s better we could have more parking lots underground so that there is less traffic and more room for people to walk on. Parking lots underground will help us by getting some of the cars out of our way and the fewer cars that are on the side of the streets and the less traffic we have the better for us. Downtown for example, is a very busy area with thousands of cars passing by every day and getting in and out of parking lots. If it wasn’t for all of these parking lots built for storage and underground storage as well downtown would be a total chaos. Parking lots can help reduce the traffic and are very helpful in many ways. Without the parking lots something that could take us ten minutes to go to like a nearby pharmacy, will double the time with the traffic. This is why putting parking lots will solve many of the problems that we have with traffic.

Another thing that we should consider is a place for people to walk on so that they could feel a lot better and comfortable walking every day to nearby places, just like what the author said in legalizing walking about how we need more sidewalks. Now days people are used to driving everywhere even to a nearby corner store they have to drive. If there were more places where people could do activities outside instead of inside this would be a lot better for everyone. They should have more places with patios outside their restaurants where people could sit there and have a nice cup of coffee. Little changes like this can help our neighborhood and make it a better place for us and our environment. We just have to do something to make it happen so that we can have a better place not only for us for everyone that wants a difference and that is tired of having to put up with all of this things. Just remember that things don’t change by themselves and each of us needs to do our own part.

It’s easy to think of and come up with some of these ideas on how we could change our neighborhood but it’s not easy to actually get it fixed. Before we can do something people need to get together in small organizations and figure out what they need to do to let their voice be heard. One thing that they could do is go by each house in their neighborhood and get signatures of everyone that thinks they should put parking lots. They should have a leader that represents them and speaks for what everyone has to say about the problem. Let the governors and city council know about this and make sure that they also do something to change this. Once the problem has been stated the governor and city council along with other people like architects, engineers, planners and designers need to get together and look for a solution to fix the problem. Once a solution has been found then that’s when everything gets to be put together and constructed. This is what needs to be done and what we could do to fix a problem that we have in our neighborhood like traffic and parking space.

View Larger Map
Heights Chaos
New Properties
Houston Traffic

Ana Ramirez is a second year student at the University Houston Downtown, who is planning to major as a teacher. Ana is a very freindly person that loves helping others in whatever she can. She loves kids and gets along great with people. She is currently a part time student at the University of Houston Downtown and a full time worker at Namco.

In my experience, Ana has proven herself to be an honest, hard-working young woman. she is generous and kind. Even as a teenager, she was always thinking of others. Several times, I have witness her volunteer to help others in her community.

At all times I have found her to be  humble, dependable, and a nice going person . She strives always for the best and takes a high interes in education. Ana plans to get a degree and pursue her career as a teacher.

Dance Town Bingo by Ana Ramirez

7214 Airline Drive
Houston, TX 77076-2436
(713) 692-4646 ‎

“The next number is B14. Is there a winner? B14?” James yells from the middle of the room. Everyone rushes to look through their cards for the number all hoping no one else screams “bingo” before them. Just as the room begins to calm down, a lady stands and screams “BINGO!!!” with excitement. The whole room tears up their cards to start a new game. This here is a night like any other night at Dance Town Bingo a place to have fun located on 7214Airline Drive near Little York. You might think that bingo is something that old folks do and that it’s boring for someone my age, but bingo is a game for all ages, young or old to play.

Dance Town Bingo is one of my favorite places here in Houston. It’s a small place where many people gather every night to play bingo with family and friends. Many come here nightly, and some at least once a week to get away from everything and have fun. Inside Dance Town Bingo people sit down at brown long cafeteria tables that are in rows up and down from each side of the room. There are lines at the entrance of the room everyone buys their books/cards. Each book has twelve small bingo cards and four pages for the different games that are going to be played during each session. Bingo experts will play up to thirty cards at a time. I asked a 32 year old lady named Sofia how she can play so many cards without missing a number.

“I have played bingo for years and it took me a lot of time and practice so that I could get good at bingo, I enjoy coming here every night to play bingo and just have fun like everyone in this room.” I noticed that everyone in the room had their own techniques some would mark the shapes that are going to be played with a yellow marker so they won’t accidently mark the wrong numbers and then mark it with the darker color when the numbers were being called.

In this room you see the large boards each side of the room, and small television screens on the wall, so that when the numbers are being called everyone can see. James stands in the middle of the room where he picks small balls out of the screen bal like they are bouncing balls. You can see the numbers being tossed and turned so that the same numbers won’t be repeated as the previous game. He takes out a ball and in a loud, very clear voice he says, “The next number is N42, N42.” He continues to shout out the numbers until someone screams bingo. Each card has small numbers at the bottom and when they win they call out the numbers and then James puts them in the computer and he shows everyone the card and how they won.

Once in a while there will be more than one winner and he shows us each card some people may not like winning with other people because then they have to share the prize. The biggest amount of money you can win is $750, but if three people win then they have to divide that between each of them. I often see a girl my age sitting in front of me, playing bingo. She wore some blue jeans, a bright pink neon shirt, some black converse, and glasses. She with her sister, I see her here almost every time I come. She’s always texting and playing at the same time, and she gets upset whenever someone screams bingo before her. She gets so into the game sometimes that no one can stop her. I ask her why she likes coming to play she says her sister started bringing her, every day.

My mom’s friend Juanita comes every night I tell my mom that she is addicted to the game because even when she doesn’t have money she’ll go and play. She likes to go on Mondays because the cards are one dollar and she buys two or three. She always says “today is going to be my lucky day” but she never wins. I think it’s crazy to come if you never win, but some people want to win so bad. They keep coming to see if maybe their luck will change. I think you should just have fun, play the game, and maybe you will win.

Bingo isn’t just a game it’s something that anyone can do from small children to our grandparents. In the article Generations are United by Call of the Game, Lisa Gray presents a detailed story and how a young group of kids, as she calls them, plays bingo and get really into the game. They get excited when they’re about to win, “The crowd erupted: “WOOOOAAAA!” This was their new tradition, response to their favorite number.”(Ph. 6) This shows what kind of excitement that the game brings to them as well as many others.

In different cultures, there are other ways to play bingo, and other names. Hispanics have something they call “Loteria.” It is our Mexican bingo and is something that many Hispanic families have played at least once in their life. You could play just for fun or you could play with money if you want something more exciting. Everyone gets their cards and they pay 50 cents or a dollar depending on how much they want to play for. The way you win is by making a line all the way across, up and down, or diagonal. Unlike bingo, which has bingo at the top and lines with numbers loteria has lines with pictures. Someone calls out the cards and says the name of the picture on the card for example el valiente (the brave one) or el alacran (the scorpion). Then everyone looks through their card and when they win they will scream “bingo” or “buenas”. This indicates that they have won and as reward they win all the money that the people put in for their cards.

At first the idea of bingo was boring to me I didn’t think I was going to like it because it seemed like something, for older folks would be doing and it would be boring for someone my age. Once I started getting more into the game, I enjoyed it more and actually started to like it. I was amazed at the large amount of people that gathered up every night just to play. It’s funny how once I started to get into the game, I would get mad when someone would stand up and scream “BINGO!!!!” Everyone would just get their cards and crumble them up and a new game would start. There’s is usually two sessions and between each game everyone can finally get up and go use the restroom and get something to eat. They would then use this time to buy more cards and start getting their cards ready for the next game. The good thing about bingo is that you have many chances to win and play.

In my family every week is the same we all gather up Friday nights to go play bingo at Dance Town Bingo. I enjoy spending time with my family because we don’t have many times like this where were all together having fun. Everyone’s always busy and never home so it’s important to us to have at least one day of the week where we could be together as a family. It’s impossible to see each other during the week because everyone’s always busy running around here and there to going to working or school. We try to be together as much as we can but it’s never the whole family, but one thing is for sure we never miss bingo night that’s something everyone in my family enjoys and we go just for fun. We don’t really win like other people there has only been on time my mom won $350. You don’t know when you’ll win but if you do you’re the lucky one.

I have many good memories at Dance Town Bingo because I could be with my family and spend time with them that I can’t always have. I remember when I was younger and we used to be together more. I miss those days where we could just sit down and talk about our day and how everyone was doing. This is something we now do once a week when we go play bingo with the family. I remember all the good times we’ve had here and the many times that I enjoyed playing. It also reminds me of how we used to play loteria when I was younger this was a way to have fun with the family and spend time together. My brother Jose was younger like 4 or 5 during this time and didn’t know how to play very well but he would still try to play. I used to just let him win so he wouldn’t feel bad, but know that his older I compete with him to see who wins or who fills up their card the most. I like it when we just talk about everything were doing and have those fun nights where everyone is laughing and having fun.

It’s a good idea to have somewhere you can go and have fun with the whole family. For my family this is important because we could just go here and have fun and talk to each other about our week and what’s going on. This is the only time that I get to spend with everyone because everyone’s always busy and never home. Bingo is a fun and is a good activity that everyone should try at least once and I encourage everyone to try it. Don’t think it’s boring just have fun and play. There are many bingo places everywhere you just have to put your time and effort to go and don’t be surprised when u see people your age playing bingo.

Dance Town Memories
Bingo Call

Ana Ramirez is a second year student at the University Houston Downtown, who is planning to major as a teacher. Ana is a very freindly person that loves helping others in whatever she can. She loves kids and gets along great with people. She is currently a part time student at the University of Houston Downtown and a full time worker at Namco.

In my experience, Ana has proven herself to be an honest, hard-working young woman. she is generous and kind. Even as a teenager, she was always thinking of others. Several times, I have witness her volunteer to help others in her community.

At all times I have found her to be  humble, dependable, and a nice going person . She strives always for the best and takes a high interes in education. Ana plans to get a degree and pursue her career as a teacher.

Hiding in Plain Sight: Paesanos Lounge by Jeremy Boyd

January 2004–The funny thing about the little club is how totally unremarkable it is. From the outside it is thoroughly unimpressive. The main streets surrounding it are chronically blocked off because of construction, and the side streets that are open are scarred and pitted with potholes deep enough to land aircraft in. The park behind the building, and most of the area immediately surrounding it, is swarming with homeless people. Sunday is their day. Houston’s forgotten hide during the week and come out at night to carry on with the secret rituals of their very public lives. But Sunday’s, much like holidays, are their days. The area is deserted, and they are free to do as they please. For twenty four hours, the destitute don’t have to hide. And it’s ironic, because in the north west corner of the building that houses a bank and a restaurant, is a club called Paesano’s Lounge, where I don’t have to hide.

It’s a Sunday night in January of 2003. it’s rainy, it’s cold, it’s slick and it’s miserable. I’m way underage for anything, just seventeen years old, in a club that serves liquor. The last time I was here, I did a horrible job. It was Super Bowl Sunday and the crowd was abnormally small. I rushed a piece that I had tried to write earlier the same day, and I was, frankly, garbage. I tried to dress to impress, look dapper. I was focused on entirely the wrong thing. Thankfully, the crowd was small. Tonight, it’s all about redemption. I’m dressed in a blackish, grayish zip up hoodie, baggy, faded jeans and hiking boots. This is the third time I’ve been to Peasano’s Lounge, but it will act as my initiation. Baptism by fire.

The inside of the club is as unimpressive as the outside. Maybe to a person who enjoys the club experience it’s nice, but I don’t like clubs. I don’t like small, smoky, enclosed areas where the music is loud and sexually frustrated strangers grind on each other in a drunken stupor. That really doesn’t appeal to me at all. When you walk in, the first thing you notice is that the place is about the size you’d expect of anything that gets the space left over from a bank and a restaurant. It can hold maybe two hundred and fifty people comfortably, three hundred if you’re looking to start a fight. The bar is against the right wall, and there’s a row of stools pulled up to it, though later on tonight, people will be three or four deep at the bar, most of them drinking. The seats on what is the main dance floor, when there’s dancing going on, are arranged for an intimate crowd to observe the poets. Against the back left corner, there is a raised section of the floor with a long sofa that curves to fit the wall. In the back, behind the badly positioned stage, and behind an area that has couches and no real purpose, is what is considered the “VIP” room. In all actuality, it’s just a sitting room dimly lit by cheap, low wattage red bulbs. The bathrooms are off to the right, and colored strobe lights play against the wall, occasionally hitting a disco ball hanging on the ceiling at the far end of the bar.

I have my notebook in one pocket, my beat up red CD player in the other, headphones clamped firmly to my ears, music blaring, as I make my way to the bathroom. The stalls have no doors, and there is no soap. But I’m clean, so after I pee, I zip up and stand in front of one of the two mirrors and begin to practice my piece. I think it’s good. No. I know it’s good. But the problem is, I don’t know if these people will. They’re not used to my style of writing. I know this because I have my own unique style. When I perform, I have a quick pace with a complicated, multi-syllabic rhyme scheme, heavy on alliteration and word play. I touch on subjects that aren’t common for the poets that take the stage here, subjects that are near to my heart, that I have to confront every day that they just don’t. Or are too scared to touch on. All of which are reasons I don’t consider what I do spoken word poetry. It’s more like rap, but without the music. In fact, in the piece I’m doing tonight, I label my style “spoken word with a rap swagger.” I walk outside and pace in the cold night air, mumbling my piece over and over to myself.

When I go back in, the host, a man named Se7en (pronounced of course, Seven), is calling all of the poets who signed up to the VIP room. He runs down the rules of the house for us (“I don’t care about the sign up sheet. I’ll call you in whatever order I want, so stay close to the stage. Don’t make the crowd wait while you come all the way up from the back. There’s too many of y’all, and we’re running late. But fuck it, I’m drunk and I need a challenge.”). We’re dismissed, and he goes out to take the stage.

Se7en is not a tall man by any standards. He stands maybe five foot eight to five foot ten, with extremely light brown skin and wild hair that is normally braided, or at least should be. Tonight he’s wearing dark glasses, as he was the times before now, and will be in times to come. He’s a born MC, he has crowd control down to a science. It’s a Paesano’s tradition to get up and hug three people you didn’t come in with (“Damnit, get y’alls asses up and hug!”) That said and done, the lights go low, and it’s almost show time. But he has more to say, telling the crowd how to conduct themselves. Don’t yell out loud, but if you agree with what the poet has to say, snap your fingers, tap your ring on your glass, or your glass or knuckles on the table. People will do all this, including yell out loud, when the show is underway. Then comes the cell phone announcement (“Turn the shit off. Because if it goes off and one of the poets jump off stage and kick your ass, that’s your fault.”) usually at this point, there’s another announcement. (“The views and opinions of the poet are not the views and opinions of Renaissance Entertainment, or Paesano’s Lounge. If a poet say something you don’t agree with, go home, write a poem about it, and come back next Sunday. If you don’t write, meet the poet outside.”) But sometimes this one goes forgotten until the first poem that really gets people stirred up.

Finally, it’s show time. The crowd is small, but as Se7en was talking, people trickled in, some signed up to perform, some just sat down and ordered a drink. The crowd is generally genuinely friendly, but they go to a whole other level when the room starts to fill up. Chuckles turn to throaty laughs, good poets are suddenly excellent preachers, and the whole place is their amen corner now. Drinks are flowing, people are laughing, talking, having a good time. At the same time, the poets get full respect. People might whisper, but nobody out and out talks.

I can’t really focus on the poets. I’m jittery, but it’s not just that. It’s the fact that I’m cocky. I don’t feel that there’s a poet here that’s better than me. They’re good, I’m just better. There’s something about the soft anonymity of being on stage in front of a dark room full of strangers. It’s like alcohol, it’s a type of false confidence. They don’t know me, so I don’t have to hold anything back. So to hell with whoever fees otherwise, because everybody is brave in a crowd, and there’s not a person in the place who can write like me. It’s my one constant passion, the talent God gave me. And here, this place, with this particular blend of people, is the perfect place where my passion and my swaggering, cocky attitude can be combined.

And it is this combination that makes Paesano’s my sanctuary. Starting tonight, I will be living Sunday to Sunday, recharging myself for each new week by beginning it on stage in front of strangers. Because Paesano’s is where I can reclaim my self esteem, leaving insecurities and life’s harsh realities behind me. From here on out, when my name is called, I will stroll calmly, slowly, to the stage, look out at the crowd, and begin to speak. I will usually start with some sort of preamble, an introduction. Tonight’s is the admission that I messed up last Sunday, and tonight is all about redemption, as well as that I have performed my second piece already. But I don’t think they were paying attention the first time, so I’m going to do it again so they understand fully. And then, for the next three to five minutes, I purge my soul to people who don’t care about me in the least bit. Jeremy ceases to be, and tonight, Paesano’s Lounge is introduced to Causal Swagger.

I can’t see the audience at all, because the lights that illuminate the stage are beaming down on me relentlessly, and I’m silently thankful. The sight of a hundred or so strangers staring and sizing me up will more than make me nervous. But, they might as well not be there at all, because all that fills my vision is the microphone and my gesturing right hand. I begin to float, and for a blissful moment, here on stage, wrapped in a warm jacket on a cold night, all that exists is me and the microphone.

It is now that I realize that the microphone is magic, but it will be a long time until I can figure out why. Paesano’s is a club on the outskirts of the dirty center of the fourth larges, and most polluted, city in America. It’s intimate, but in the same way that sex with a stranger is: somebody you don’t know gets to see parts of you that no one else does. Because in any club, a certain side of you comes out. It’s a side you don’t display on your job, or with your parents, or in church. It’s a hidden you that you can only let loose when no one is looking. And what better way to make sure no one is looking at you, than to go to a place where everybody is hoping no one will be looking at them.

And therein lies the magic of the microphone on a small stage in the tiny room that houses a little known club in a great big city. It isn’t like a poetry group, where you are invited to discuss your feelings with anyone, or make any lasting relationships. It’s quick, it’s painless, it’s anonymous. You’re encouraged to do nothing but say your piece and move on. You’ll get patted on the back if you do well, it’s entirely possible to make friends. But mostly for the poets, for me, it’s five minutes of total, boundless freedom with no consequences. And it begs the question, what would you do if you knew you could get away with it? How addictive would it be?

Personally, I take the opportunity to hide in plain sight, tucked away in the private subculture of artistic escapists where anybody can gain entrance for a seven dollar fee. And as I walk off stage, having given myself completely to my new addiction, I realize that I have found what I’ve been looking for. Every Sunday until early June, I will swagger confidently to the microphone, take the stage for the entertainment of people looking to do exactly what I’m doing: escaping into a shadowy community where everybody can be anybody because nobody cares.


Tosha Terry
Spoken Word
Next best thing

Journey Into The New Frontier: University of Houston by Anthony Tran L

4800 Calhoun Rd.
Houston, Texas

January 2004–Tick, tick, tick, tick. Ding dong, ding dong. Chime, chime, chime. Striking at 7 o’clock evening, the old dusty grandfather clock can be heard all over the Celeste Amour Play Theatre. As the last couple dressed in fine garments settled down in some soft indigo cushioned seats, every light except for the stage lights were turned off and the music from the Astre Symphony softly faded away in the wind. Upon the middle of the stage, a young female actress in her mid thirties, wearing an old traditional Japanese kimono, Zori style sandals, and a Momoyama hair style announced that the play “New Space” will commence. Her extravagant dress full of elegant designs of flowers in shades of pink, violet blue, and soft fire, made her the show for the moment. As she left the stage towards her left as if gliding on water, the dark red curtains began to rise off of the floor.

For Scene 1, the first day of school, I mean college, I feel like a butterfly still inside of it’s cocoon. An interesting mix of emotions of a nobody and a somebody overwhelmed me as I encountered this new space. As Freshmen entering place of profound mystery and knowledge, a mutual feeling swept us from under our feet. I felt like a small lost rat in an enigmatic maze, but luckily I had a gray flimsy map of the entire campus given by my sister.

With misdirection, a person can really get lost. That happened to me and my new acquaintance, sporty Jordan with a confident look on his face. I went to my first class in the Roy G. Cullen Building and on the entrance steel door of the classroom hung a note about a room change. Not freaking out so I could impress the girls, I asked the guy next to me if he had this class for first period and sure enough, we both did. Racing against time, we both took off in a rush and gave each other a helping hand. We introduced ourselves and exchanged our past history to become better friends and allies in this new space. Entering into an auditorium where the lecturing has already begun, we thought it was the right class. Sitting on the rough carpet, I asked the person next to me what class this is and he told me, “We’re in politics.” I said thanks and I told Jordan the bad news and we took off again.

Jordan then asked an old energetic lady under a tent if she could help us find our Math class. She told us the same building as before, but in a different room. We went into the room she told us to go, but an English class swept our feet from the ground. A young female student told us the math class we’re looking for was the right room number on our schedule. We missed a good portion of notes as 20 minutes had already passed by.

My Psychology class open Scene 2 in Agnes Arnold Auditorium 2, which surprised me because approximately 400 students took seats. The 400 bodies of 98 degrees magnifies in the auditorium. To make matters worse, it felt like an oven used for roasting a 5lb turkey, stuffed with you know what because the air conditioner malfunctioned. The old pudgy professor lectured and cursed a lot about life which made the class fun for the most part. Time quickly passed by and class ended. From the corner of my eyes, I saw my coworker, Raul. Always with those sleepy eyes and yet a genius at Math, I went up to him to the other side of the auditorium and greeted him. We chatted for a while and parted because by stomach growled like a starving man at Christmas dinner. After eating at the Satellite, I left to find my next class in no sense of rush.

After the long break, Scene 3 paved the way to my English class in the Agnes Arnold Hall not too far from the Satellite. At first, I thought another tribulation was at hand because there on the doors hung a note about some other English classes, but a teacher, sage and unwavering, helped me out. As I entered the class, I saw computers on each seat for every student, a grand table in the center, and a wide white screen to illuminate clear-cut images from an image projector that hung on the ceiling. A regular English class with all these hi-tech equipment installed seemed odd and too exaggerated to me. With an office-like atmosphere and a place to hold a council meeting, this was just too overwhelming, but I felt really important as if a VIP. By the way, I met this blonde haired, gentle blue eyed, girl named Kelly in my English class and we have lots of things in common.

My History class ushered me into Scene 4 in Agnes Arnold Auditorium 1, which wasn’t that far from my English class. Life at college never ceased to amazed me as another auditorium again was capable of holding roughly 400 students. The professor had little helpers called TA’s or teaching assistants handling out outlines and a syllabus for us 400 students. Let me emphasize, tons of dead trees for 400 students. She lectured the first day of class and we took notes about every important historical event that might be useful to study for tests or quizzes that we might take in the near distant future. Fate would have it no other way, I made another friend. This was Chris’ 2nd year at University of Houston and he said that life in college is going great because he has easy class time management and an easy degree to study on.

Act 1 gave us an insight about things to come, and the full spirited community. Act 2 emphasized the location with the potential of drawing in different race, gender, height or size because of its infrastructure, colors, mood, atmosphere, and tone of a particular area. A student might go into a building where it has a cool breeze from an air conditioner and sit down on a wooden light brown coated bench with a tint of light from the ceiling. Another student might stay outside where it is warm and not too hot. A zephyr coming from the west caused leaves and little lovely peddles of a myrtle falling towards a smooth old gray concrete bench. Hiding under the tree’s arm full of leaves from the sun’s ray, you give a smile and the world smiles back right at you. The University Center Satellite by far exceeds my expectations of college luxuries and comfort.

Stationed at the Satellite were about 5 restaurants very closed by and it was very hard not to be picky what food you wanted to eat. There were also tables, chairs, stools, couches and a television set in the lounge, 3 computers, a pool room, a study hall, and of course a nice luxurious restrooms in the Satellite. Walking from my class towards this underground facility feels like I’m entering a night club at night, but in the afternoon. As I passed through those doors at the entrance, I have entered into a whole new world filled with a force of human invigoration. I’m always entertained by what I see or hear because I let myself be engulfed in the sea of lively people and of their thoughts. From a delicious personal-pan pizza hung gooey cheese and a mint of roasted pepperonis that caused me to indulged into my own little world. While sinking into a cushioned seat, I can only be shocked and awed. The continuous smell of fast-food can make a person hungry for some more even after a combo meal of a personal-pan pizza, a medium sized Sprite, and 3 long juicy bread sticks dunked into some sauce. Well, of course that’s just me.

Taking a huge gulp of the aroma around me and then exhaling it out, I turned my heat to the left and looked at the people around me. I zoomed in and out at certain people that looked interesting and I gazed upon a cute girl in the distance. Looking at my watch, the time told me to get my butt off and let the next person enjoy their peace at my seat on the far corner of the Pizza Hut that’s making their daily revenues and greetings. I took all of my belongings and headed towards the men’s restroom. I sanitized my hands carefully for 30 seconds with warm water, squirted a pink gooey substance ( liquid soap, don’t want anyone to get the wrong impression here) and dried them with soft white paper towels. Quite a journey for the first day of my college life and the end has not yet come to terms. As an image was taking shape in the mirror, a toilet flushed rapidly in anger or in anguish when it went down. Going through a different pair of doors to exit, I reentered back into reality. Passing by people, a squirrel on the ground searched endlessly for a decent meal so it can rip it up and swallow it whole in one gulp. At that moment 2 things came to mind: Food and the cartoon show Pokemon.

Once again the dark red curtains dropped from where it hung and the technician dimmed the light, enough so that we can see. Appearing on stage between the curtains was a young male actor in his mid thirties wearing a uniform in the 1700s. Old, yet with classic of traditional grace of honor and royalty, he tapped the small silver glittering bell in his left hand thrice to get attention.

His loud and florid voice spoke, “An intermission my Lady and my Lord.” With those words to say, he left the stage towards his right, walking slowly and calmly with confidence.

The Astre Symphony begun playing a soft tune from the piano, then the strings, and moments later the whole Symphony was in unison.


Praising the Heavens: Lakewood Church by: Cindy Macal

~moved to Compaq Center, Buffalo Speedway and US 59~
P.O. Box 23297
Houston, TX 77228

April 2004–When someone considers joining a church, they normally possess a concrete idea about what the church atmosphere and schedule should be like. Formally dressed in a heavily-starched Sunday attire, one walks into the sacred church with a bible in hand and a notepad and pen in the other, sits quietly, listens to the father preach for almost two hours, pray a final prayer, and leave. Lakewood Church does not fall under that “typical church” category. The last time I attended Lakewood Church was almost three years ago on Easter Sunday 2001. So much changed since the last time. In contrast to popular belief, this sanctuary actually exceeded the 7,500- seat limit, which answers the question of why Lakewood Church bought out the Compaq Center for $70 million dollars, which is to be renamed the Lakewood International Center (Alnor 2). An unexplainable excitement overwhelmed me when I returned to Lakewood Church on Sunday, December 14, 2003, the groundbreaking weekend service at Lakewood ’s new home, the Compaq Center .

I decided to attend the 8:30AM service because I figured that traffic would be hard to find. However, hundreds of people attend church that early in the morning. Of course, the first thing to expect on the way to Lakewood Church is traffic, considering that the Compaq Center sits at the second busiest intersection in the city (700 Club 2). Cars appear parked on the service road from so much traffic. After what seemed an endless wait of 20 minutes on the feeder road of 59 South, everyone exits their cars and they head off with ecstatic energy to the sanctuary like ants race towards a piece of sugar when it is in sight.

The moment the clear Lakewood doors open, an immediate feeling of power, glory and faith is present by all those who enter. There are several door greeters dressed in royal blue Sunday attire, who appear bathed in so much perfume that it starts to smell somewhat cheap. Their dove-shaped name badges stay pinned on the left side of their vest, and they shake everybody’s hand and utter, “God Bless You,” with such grace and kindness.

After circulating around the Compaq’s circular-shaped arena and deciding which of the many entrances to enter the summit, the first thing I took notice of, obviously, included the popular white and blue Lakewood podium with the dove in the middle that Pastor Joel Osteen preaches on television in the front center of the sanctuary. Even though the Compaq Center is somewhat old, there existed a new smell to the arena as we entered it part of the Lakewood Church . A huge white screen with the Lakewood dove symbol on it hung behind the stage. I assume the technology crew created that particular effect on purpose for the television viewers.

I could hardly believe my eyes. After two years, I wasn’t watching it on a 19” Sylvania television screen anymore; I was at Lakewood , and not the old Lakewood off of 610-East and Wayside. It was the new Lakewood : the Compaq Center !

I looked around for a moment and saw the hundreds of seats in the arena, which seemed quite endless and I remember saying to myself, “There is no way that this place fills up completely.” Wrong. The sanctuary sure filled up, and fast too.

This specific Sunday, my sister and I fought through the crowd, and, with the greatest luck ever, we found two available sits in the second row on the left side of the stage. It was the perfect view since the cameras don’t reach out that far and they are unable to block the view. A woman seating directly ahead of my sister and me turned around and asked, “Have you ever been to Lakewood before?”

My sister and I explained to her that we normally watch the service on television because we live so far away (in the Woodlands) and because I normally work on weekends. She completely understood and replied with joy, “Well, I’ve been coming here for five years and I still can’t stop crying at every service. You’ll love it! I promise you!!!”

When the service finally began, the choir started to sing with such praise and glory that the room vibrated and roared with faith. The only available sound is the sweet gospel voices from the choir, all dressed in a royal blue gown. The whole sanctuary enhances itself with the mixture of voices singing, hands clapping, feet stopping and the occasional “Hallelujah” shout after certain verses. Forty-five minutes elapsed from singing and cheering, praying, and prayer-partner praying, and Joel began his preaching, in which he always has the tendency to start off with something kind of funny. He told his joke, everyone laughed and giggled, and then the people joined him in the Lakewood Prayer by holding their bibles high in the air and praying, “This is my bible. I am what it says I am, I can do what it says I can do. Today I’ll be taught the word of God. I boldly confess. My mind is alert. My heart is receptive. I’ll never be the same. Never, never, never. I’ll never be the same, in Jesus name, Amen.”

Before actually starting his speech, he took a couple of minutes for a moment of silence to thank the Lord for the new home He has given Lakewood . Joel, his wife Victoria, his mother Dodie and the rest of his family lined up at the front of the stage for the ceremonial groundbreaking event. Each took a shovel, shoved it into the dirt that was planted in front of the them, and turned it around as a symbol of breaking ground at the Compaq Center. At the end of his wonder 45-minute life lesson about looking at life in a positive way because human beings will get further in life that way, he offered his genuine and honest help to anyone that needs it. He also said, “If you just want to stop by and say hi, we would be more than welcome to have you as well.”

My sister and I for sure weren’t going to pass up the one-time opportunity to meet the Joel Osteen of the Lakewood Church . So, we immediately got out of our velvet colored seats and headed towards the north side of the church to meet one of the people I most admire in the world. A rather long line formed in front of me, curving around in each direction possible like a snake often does when it slithers, but it was well worth it. It took no longer than ten minutes anyway. As we approached Joel, also known as one of the top 20 influencers of the Pentecostal/charismatic community, I realized that he stood about 5’10” even with those black shiny shoes he wore (Alnor 1). His intensely curly dark brown hair probably added an inch to his height as well. He gave us a warm welcoming smile, looked straight at us with his ocean blue eyes, and said, “Hello. How are you doing today?”

“Hi Joel. It’s nice to meet you. My name is Cindy and this is my sister, Brittany,” I started. “We just wanted to meet you in person. We watch you all the time on our home television, but we don’t have the opportunity to come and visit as often because we live on the north side of town. We just wanted to meet you and let you know that we love what you do and your words always help us get through tough times.”

“Well, I appreciate you telling me that and I’m glad that everything is okay with you,” he said with excitement.

Once again, the fight against traffic started and this time, worse because there are two sets of traffic going on at once; the ones leaving the first service and the ones coming into the second service. The police lead us out and our Sunday morning at church came to an end.

The last time I presented myself at Lakewood Church , I just wanted to see what Lakewood was all about, but this time my intentions completely changed. I was looking for a permanent non-denominational church and I think I found that at Lakewood . According to Joel Osteen, “…We don’t push some kind of religion…all we push is joy and peace and victory through Jesus Christ” (Alnor 2). Also, at that time, probably because it was my first visit, the ceremony wasn’t as personalized as the groundbreaking ceremony. The place crowded itself so much that my family and I sat in the far corner to the left of the stage. Joel represented a little black dot to us from our seats.

However, there are those who feel anti-Lakewood and their supporters. According to Rand Winburn, “Joel Osteen, an Oral Roberts University dropout, exudes confidence and success. Certainly, in worldly terms, he has achieved this at the young age of 39, thanks to the multitudes of deceived tithing Lakewood churchgoers” (Winburn 2). This character twisted the true situation to fit in his puzzled argument. Sure, Lakewood asks for tithes, just like any other church. People choose to donate that money; they are not in any way, shape or form obligated to give the church money. Those who are against Lakewood , should at least research a little more and know what they are talking about when they are going to argue against it.

Starting off as a small and unknown church on Mother’s Day in 1959 by Pastor John Osteen, Lakewood Church has accomplished new heights never imaginable by the common people ( Lakewood 1). His son, Joel Osteen, took the position of senior pastor in October 1999 (Alnor 2)( Lakewood 1). Every step that Lakewood Church has taken has only been possible for two reasons: to keep faith and spread faith. Lakewood has nationalized itself through television recordings, tape recordings, international visits, and now the big move to the Compaq Center , the old home to the Houston Rockets. As of the year of 2005, after 12 months of remodeling, Lakewood Church will move into the new Lakewood International Center (700 Club 2).


Lakewood Church

Compaq Center

The 700 Club

The Christian Sentinel


The Cliffs: Redneck Paradise by Kevin Michael




This is a piece written by a student several years ago. It is fun to read, but it is now unlawful for people to explore this place as per this message we received: This is PRIVATE PROPERTY! Violators will be arrested. Unauthorized advertisement is forbidden. Please do not encourage others to break the law. (yes, it’s private property…i work for the owner) This is a verbal warning

Tree Village
Katy, TX 77449

January 2004–On most weekends you can find my friends and I in the middle of a field drinking beer and relaxing in the middle of a mud filled dirt trail. In the back of a little neighborhood called Rain Tree Village in Katy Texas you can stumble upon an old abandoned excavation site people from around these parts call this place The Cliffs.

I don’t know exactly when but estimate it at least twenty years ago this site was being dug out to build a waste dump. The hole being dug went rather deep and ended up going too deep. At approximately 120 feet the excavators hit a spring bursting forth beautiful pristine blue water. This sudden rush of water drowned out the cranes and excavating equipment and so the company just left them. After a couple of years with the rain the hole filled up more and now has left a large reservoir. With the water still a good twenty feet from the edge of the hole and the sides of the reservoir still being very sheared, this has left certain spots around the hole great for exhilarating cliff jumps. Although the jump is a pretty easy one but after many years the water has left a slight embankment and the water level making the jump a little more dangerous. The ledge is only about four to five feet out but if you miss your jump this can leave a very painful landing. If you hit the jump just right it can be the most fun you have ever had in your whole entire life. My personal experience with this jump has been mostly good with only one accident when I over rotated and landed face down and broke two ribs. During the day the cliffs are inhabited by neighborhood kids out for a swim and to go adventuring on their bicycles. Also there will sometimes be some people more around the college age swimming and drinking.

At night the atmosphere changes leaving mostly the college crowd with large four-wheel drive vehicles. The area directly around the reservoir is surrounded by many mud trails with varying levels of difficulty in navigating ability. The soil is a yellow-brown clay and sand combination. This particular kind of soil can be very slick when it gets wet this leaves many extremely tough vehicles stuck in the most unlikely places. Just this past Saturday night when I was out at the cliffs a buddy of mine with a Jeep Cherokee 4×4 with a lift and very aggressive mud tires was trying to leave and ended up getting stuck in a trail that is normally a very simple pass.

Also upping the degree of difficulty are three bayous that run all around the reservoir. These bayous really stand guard against most intruders. Many spots in these bayous have been dug out leaving a trail to cross the bayou but these spots are still rather difficult to cross. In one location in a bayou close to the neighborhood and at the end of a dead end is a crossing now pretty frequently used that goes right by a tree at the bottom of the bayou. This crossing is pretty tore up and when it rains the bottom fills up with at least a foot of water and leaves the sides very slick with water running down them. This pass is the intermediate pass which is only beat in easiness by the concrete pass on the other side of the cliffs only accessible by a totally separate neighborhood on a totally different street. The most difficult passes are where two bayous converge leaving a point that is barely climbable but can be mastered with some of the best driving skills.

In the back side of it all is a large mud hole that is secluded by dense thicket in all directions except in two places where you come in and where you leave. This hole is only for the big vehicles with the craziest drivers. I personally have fallen victim to this hole leaving my 89’ Ford F-250 stuck in a hole of 3 feet worth of water and mud. This part has taken many vehicles including a few tow trucks with drivers that over estimated their vehicle’s abilities. This spot is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Just in between the wash out hole and the bayou crossings is a clearing by the reservoirs edge. This by far is my favorite spot of the whole place. From there you can overlook the reservoir and watch the moon glisten off of the water. The water from here looks black except where the moon is reflecting off of it giving you a very eerie sensation and a reminder of how troublesome this place can be. In the distance you get a hint of the suburban style houses that seem to go on forever as they fade into the thicket that lines the left side of the view. This spot is perfect for relaxing and drinking a beer. A pathway has been cleared leading down to the water from this spot and onto a beach that has a dirt ramp that has been built by kids that use it to launch themselves on their bicycles into the water. The beach is also perfect location for our bonfires leaving the fire out of view of any passer-by that might call the cops. This spot really lets you get away from everything, to just have the stars above and no other sound or distraction that comes with living in the city. Many people that know about the cliffs have visited this spot making it probably the most popular spot in the whole place.

The Cliffs are not exactly public property so it is illegal to trespass on the premises. The land was owned by and excavation company and after the water filled up the hole they kind of abandoned it. After awhile, people started going out there and doing many things. After a couple people took their ATV’s and ended up killing themselves the company decided to sell the land to the government to unload the responsibility of what happens there. When the government took control they made it illegal to trespass. This has led to the occasional incident with authorities. In one occasion a police helicopter was deployed and used a spot light to find us and then tail us. This was just a scare tactic because after leaving The Cliffs they turned the spot light off and left. Sometimes during the day when people are swimming on the front side of the reservoir a police officer will walk over and make sure there is no underage drinking and ask the people to leave. If there is no other problems and you obey the officer they usually don’t write you a ticket. Occasionally you will get an uptight officer that is new to the area and will issue a trespassing ticket of about $200. Although that police encounters are rare they still happen.

A bigger worry would definitely have to be just the pure danger of off-roading. Besides the skeletons of the burnt out vehicles that still lay scattered around the area and how many of those have been towed out of the area, there still lies many vehicles at the bottom of the reservoir. There are numerous places that can take a vehicle victim beyond repair. The slick bayou sides have made many vehicles roll back down them but not on their tires. Rolling is by far the most dangerous experience you can have out here. I personally have witnessed a good friend roll his Ford Ranger down the bayou and only by the grace of god did he survive with only scratches. Several large holes leave perfect breeding ground for broken axles and other various suspension parts. Many trails a tightly lined with trees and given even the slightest slip can send your vehicle careening into them severely damaging the body of the vehicle. Many areas have very high water that can leak into your vehicle ruining carpet and rusting floor boards all while getting into your engine and flooding it leaving you stranded and out a very costly motor. Most of the time with careful driving and good old fashioned experience you can navigate these trails in and the out with any damage of any sort.

Like most places that are even worth visiting The Cliffs has its draw backs and dangers but if you have never been there you don’t know why it is worth it. I have been to this “redneck paradise” and seen its beauty and why it draws people to its magnificent reservoir with breathtakingly blue water and challenging but inviting mud trails that test you’re driving and vehicles abilities. A place where you can let loose, and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city with only having to travel as far as your back yard.

Haunted Past: Jefferson Davis Hospital by Bou C. Boeun

1101 Elder Street
Houston, Texas 77007

January 2004–The Jefferson Davis Hospital, designed by Wilkes Alfred Douglas, was built in the early 1900s and opened in December 2, 1924, as a charity hospital. Located in 1101 Elder Street, Houston, Texas 77007, the building was used as a venereal disease clinic, psychiatric hospital, juvenile detention ward, and even a food stamp distribution center. The hospital was built over Houston’s official 1800’s city cemetery, which put to rest over three thousand bodies including former slaves, city officials, victims of the yellow fever and Civil War soldiers. The name Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, was used as a memorial for those buried underneath the hospital. In 1938 a second Jefferson Davis Hospital, which was torn down in 1999, was built and the original building was turned into a storage center from the 1960s to the 1980s. It has been abandoned for more that twenty years and the building’s architectural design was even used in the movie Robocop 2, where the fabricated drug “Nuke” was produced. Visitors of the abandoned structure would report seeing paranormal activities in and around the hospital. Thus, the building was named one of the top haunted spots in Houston by varies Internet sites.

The first time I laid my eyes upon the hospital a chill went down my spine. As the moonlight shines on the rough surface, an appearance of a scary movie comes together. The building is four stories high and made entirely of concrete and red brick. A dull barbed wire fence surrounds the property without a gate in sight. As I crawled under a loose part of the fence, my hands glazed a piece of glass, barely cutting my skin. Wild grass and endless vines grow around the structure and produce an aroma of mud and plant life. All the windows and doors have been removed and graffiti with satanic writings are everywhere, which is only to disturb the spirits at rest and start trouble.

Inside the building beer cans and cigarette butts are abundant on the ground and metal pipes and wires are hanging from the ceiling. The majority of the floors are set up exactly the same, so if your not paying attention you could get lost. Half of the fourth floor however has a large open recreation area, which was used for a garden and playground. From there you can see the outside of the hospital and the buildings surrounding it. There is no electricity throughout the building and the halls are pitch black. The only light you could get is from a flashlight or a street lamp shining through a window. When moving down the hall you could feel some rooms are colder than others. Occasionally I would make quick turn, because of a strong sense of someone lurking in the darkness. A very dangerous area in the hospital is an open elevator shaft near the stairs. At the bottom of the shaft is broken equipment and beer bottles. A confused or careless person might think of it as another room and fall to their demise.

Behind the hospital there is a small patio filled with old chairs, tables, mattresses, and filling cabinets. A wood roof shades this area, but time has deteriorated the structure leaving holes. Water collects between these objects and creates a strong smell of old furniture. The rust from the metal stained the tile to a dark brown, making the appearance of old blood. Near the filling cabinets are documents and patient cards scattered on the floor. Most of them have faded and suffered massive weather damage. These are just the remains of previous looters, which already scavenged items throughout the years.

If you follow a mud trail a few feet behind the hospital there is a small incinerator building, which is surrounded by tall poison ivy. Compared to the hospital the incinerator isn’t architecturally astonishing and is falling apart. The one story building has a simple square figure, made from the similar brick as the hospital, and has large smoke stack on the roof. When inside the building there is limited room to move around and the stench of rust fills the atmosphere. The ground is concrete and there are only a few small windows, so it is darker than the hospital.

Almost every night you could see teenagers or adult ghost seekers, with their cameras, wander into the hospital looking for adventure. Every so often they would go in drunk and distorted, so maybe their minds can play tricks on them. The hardcore visitors will go in the hospital, usually three at a time, and roam around alone, using only their cigarette as their source of light. On a parched shadowy night you could see them playing hide and seek throughout the hospital and take cover in rooms where patients use to sleep. The novice visitors would go in, as a group of five or more, and carry heavy duty spotlights and slowly move across floor to floor. Visitors say floors with the most ghost sightings are the third, which is where mental patients were kept, and the basement, where they treated African American patients. Some people wouldn’t even dare to walk on those levels for the possibility of meeting an enraged ghost. During October the hospital becomes a very popular place. People would hold small Halloween parties in the building with underage drinking.

On July 31, 2003 a group of young adults got mugged, in the hospital, by armed robbers leaving the building. According to KTRK news crew, which reported at the scene, the robbers fired one shot at the teens, but no one was hurt. They took their wallets and all valuable possessions. The police brought a k-9 to the area hoping to find them in the building, but they where nowhere to be found. Ever since then a very disgruntled and armed security guard would make his rounds in a golf cart, trying to stop trespassers in the region. The punishment for being caught is a call to the Houston Police Department and a night in jail or fine. Signs are posted all over the fence and around the hospital saying, “no trespassing”, but eager adventurers don’t obey the warnings and take a risk walking around the building.

On March 2002 Houston’s Archeological and Historical Commission accepted the suggestion of declaring the building a city landmark. Then on June 20, 2002 the Harris County Commissioners sold the abandoned hospital to Avenue Community Development Corporation and Artspace Projects. The plan of these two companies is to transform the building into thirty-one affordable lofts for low to medium income artists. The companies will spend $6.2 million for reconstruction, restoration, environmental cleanup, land, and a monument for those buried.

The Jefferson Davis Hospital is a very good place to get cheap thrills, but danger creeps at every corner. Just like the teenagers who got robbed, you never know what could happen. The kids just wanted to have some excitement and explore a historical landmark, but they got taken advantage of. The best action to take is by not even going in the building. People should read and follow the signs posted on and around the building. They are there for the public protection and should be obeyed. You have a greater risk of running into a mugger, security guard or even the paranormal if you step inside. The people entering the hospital are also disrespecting the bodies that were buried, by vandalizing the building and treating the place like an amusement park. The enormous collection of trash makes the building a health violation. People should not walk around because of the risk of stepping on something hazardous. In a couple of years the Avenue Community Development Corporation and Artspace Projects will began their construction in turning the vacant hospital into inexpensive lofts for artists. I don’t understand how a person would be able to live in a building that was once an old hospital built over three thousand 19th century graves. Knowing this information I would keep a crucifix around my neck at all times and have trouble sleeping. Before the restoration begins people should just enjoy the structure as a building that appears haunted, from the outside. Then they would be able to just imagine what went on behind the walls of the Jefferson Davis Hospital.